Tuesday, 13 October 2020

World-class wines and gourmet dishes just 30 minutes from Hobart

 It is 30 years since Steve and Monique Lubiana gambled on a vineyard at Granton, north of Hobart, in then unfashionable Tasmania. They have been wine trendsetters on the Apple Isle ever since. 

The Lubianas were the first certified organic and biodynamic wine producers in Tasmania, among the first to produce single site wines and to install their own still. 

They have also expanded to produce stellar sparkling wines, as well as experimenting with Austrian grape varieties.   

The Lubianas have also expanded their operations to the south of Hobart, buying the Panorama vineyard at Cradoc in 2016, stripping it down to pinot noir and chardonnay only and adopting organic procedures. 

The winery is now know as Lucille and produces the fruit for wines made by Marco Lubiana, the couple's talented son.   

He carries on a family tradition that dates back to the late 1800s in Istria, then in Italy, today part of Croatia. 

The Stefano Lubiana cellar door overlooking the vines and the River Derwent at Granton, north of Hobart, is among the best in the state - with a Tuscan vibe and impressively knowledgable and hospitable staff. 

Pre-Covid it was also home to the much-vaunted Osteria restaurant, known for its Italian home cooking. 

All the wines are organic, biodynamic and vegan-friendly with tastings available Wednesday-Sunday.  

With no interstate visitors to Tasmania right now, Osteria has closed and been replaced by The Vineyard Larder, which offers eat-in or takeaway goodies after your wine tasting at the weekends. 

The options here are simple with choices like charcuterie plates (above) with cured meats, pickled vegetables, lavosh and bread ($18 or $32), or perhaps a mushroom bruschetta ($18). 

The caramelised onion and gruyere tart ($12), served with fresh asparagus, was so good that we ordered a couple of extra slices to go, while dishes like slow-cooked lamb shoulder with sauteed garden chard ($25 or $45) cater to larger appetites.

The vibe is casual and you pay as you order at the kitchen pass.   

Wine by the glass or bottle is available from the tasting bar. The pinots are stellar but check out the dry new-release 2015 Brut Rosé, the 2018 Gruner Veltliner or maybe compare the 2018 Estate Chardonnay with the 2019 Primavera Chardonnay. 

Finish with a house-made grappa, quince eau de vie or a walnut liqueur.     

See www.slw.com.au for details.     

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