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Saturday 14 November 2015

Is this the best sparkling wine festival in the world?

I have just spent a couple of day at the second Effervescence Tasmania, the festival that celebrates the outstanding cool-climate sparkling wines from Australia's island state. 

Effervescence Tasmania features 15 of Tasmania's leading sparkling producers, who are now making wines that rival those of Champagne in both quality and price. 

The event is hosted at the superb Josef Chromy facility in Relbia, just outside Launceston, and features a cocktail party and gala dinner at which leading international chef Tetsuya Wakuda cooked up a storm. 

Other events, variously held in the barrel cellars, the estate gazebo and the winery restaurant, include wine masterclasses hosted by award-winning digital communicator Tyson Stelzer and featuring leading wine-makers including Louisa Rose (Jansz), Ed Carr (Arras) and Andrew Pirie (Apogee). 

There were also tastings featuring wines from all 15 wineries, a cooking masterclass, the matching of bubbles with cheese, and a superb producers' lunch featuring products from Huon Aquaculture and Robbins Island Wagyu beef along with Josef Chromy 2010 sparkling and 2014 pinot noir (yes, still wines get a small look-in). 

There were pigs on a spit, and gourmet salmon boxes to take away, along with live entertainment. 

Still to come: a Beats and Bubbles night and a rolling gourmet visit to three of the more southerly producers; Frogmore Creek, Moorilla and Stefano Lubiano. 

Some of the guests were keen to taste as much as possible, others content to sip as they relaxed on beanbags. I've selected some of my favourite images from the event. I hope you enjoy them. 

You might even see someone you know, or want to visit next year. 

I've been to a few food and wine festivals in my time, all over the world, and you'd struggle to find many better than this one. The organisation is exceptional, the staff extremely slick and efficient and the wine and produce top notch.   


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