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Tuesday 8 March 2016

Two weekends of fun in Tasmania

The next two weekends offer plenty of diversions for gourmets and art lovers in Tasmania. 

A Taste of the Huon, now in its 24th year, is a celebration of fine food, wine, entertainment, arts and crafts from the Huon Valley and Channel region. It is held at Ranelagh which is only 30 minutes scenic drive south of Hobart.

The dates are: Sunday, March 13 and Monday, March 14 and the event will coincide with the launch of new branding for the region.

The Huon is a region that produces an abundance of apples and although Tasmania is still recognised as the 'Apple Isle', cherries, mushrooms, salmon, vineyards, berries and truffles are also farmed in the area and along with much more, promoted at the Festival.

Entertainment from the likes of Russell Morris, helicopter flights and children's activities are included and the festival is one of the most popular regional events in Tasmania, drawing over 20,000 local, intrastate and interstate visitors through its two-day program. 

The event is run by a voluntary committee with proceeds being injected back into the community via funding of groups who volunteer on the day.

The Huon Valley, D’entrecasteaux Channel and Bruny Island regions of Tasmania are now being recognised as one of Tasmania’s leading tourist destinations - and visitors can try gourmet goodies from all over them over the two days, ranging from Home Hill Wines to treats from Gourmet Farmer Matthew Evans' Fat Pig Farm. 

Dog-free, smoke-free, but definitely not fun-free.

The following weekend marks a writers' festival with a difference - the 2016 Tamar Valley Writers Festival.

Writers would not appear, at first glance, to have much in common with pinot noir.

The two will, however, come together when Tamar Ridge presents “18 Years of Pinot Noir at Tamar Ridge” on March 19 and 20 as part of the festival.

The program at Rosevears will include free tastings of 18 individual vineyard pinot noirs from the Tamar and the East Coast and include an exploration of what it is that makes the grape variety so alluring for wine aficionados.

Among the questions to be addressed: Why is Tasmania being hailed as the best place to grow pinot noir in Australia? Does a pinot noir from the Tamar Valley taste different to one from the East Coast? And what does aged pinot noir taste like?

The tasting will include a look at the first Tamar Ridge pinot from 1998, to wines from the 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2013 vintages, and new vintages of the Tamar Ridge Reserve and Devil's Corner Mount Amos, along with a sneak peek at the latest addition to the winery's range, the Tamar Ridge Single Site Pinot Noir.

There are only a limited number of places available, so advanced bookings are advised on (03) 6330 0300 or

The Writers Festival program also includes literary lunches at Tamar Ridge and Elmslie Function Centre. For details visit

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