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Edition 190_Duval-Leroy

Sparklers reach 'champagne level'

When sparkling wine expert Tyson Stelzer lined up Tasmanian offerings with champagne at an Effervescence dinner in November, he had an heroic tale to tell.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

Edition 190_Phillips

Food story has been a Tassie epic

Brand Tasmania's long-serving Food and Wine Writer, Graeme Phillips, taps out his final story for our newsletter: serving up a 37-year Tasmanian gastronomic saga.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

Riesling stars in Halliday list

Ten of Australia's top 100 wines are Tasmanian, according to guru James Halliday, and one of the stars of his 2017 listing was a Devil's Corner 2016 Riesling awarded 97 points despite being in an under-$20 category. Brown Brothers Chief Executive, Ross Brown, said: “We bought our Tasmanian vineyards and wineries in 2010 because we ... wanted to have access to cool-climate-grown grapes and wine varieties such as pinot noir, riesling and pinot grigio that grow so well in Tasmania. We have found Brand Tasmania to be far stronger than we had anticipated. People are now looking for lively and refreshing wines and this exceptional Devil’s Corner 2016 Riesling superbly personifies the crisp minerality and the clean, green image that Tasmania is so known for.” Earlier, Tasmania winery Heemskerk won the James Halliday Trophy for Best Pinot Noir at the 2017 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards for its 2016 vintage. The Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy for Best Young Red Wine was awarded to Turkey Flat Vineyards in the Barossa Valley for its 2016 Grenache, the first time a wine of that variety has taken out the award.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

Boag lionises Tassie water

Pioneer Tasmanian brand-builder James Boag & Sons has launched a new multi-channel advertising campaign using the State's quality water as its central theme. Promoting James Boag Premium beer, the Born of Tasmanian Waters campaign devised by the Host/Havas agency, sets out to show that some of life's most extraordinary and fantastic components are found in Tasmania, with pure water as their common element. Without it, they wouldn't exist. A spokesman for Lion, owner of the Launceston Brewery, said: "James Boag has been brewing its beers continuously and exclusively in Tasmania since 1888, and it's our Tasmanian provenance that makes our beers truly special and unique among other premium beers. Of all the natural riches Tasmania offers, its pure water is the most special — so many remarkable and renowned things are born of it — and we are excited about our new campaign that highlights the quality of the water that goes into our beers". The campaign rolled out nationally in time for James Boag Premium's major sponsorship of the Melbourne Cup racing carnival.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

Spanish glory for local cider

Willie Smith's is basking in the glory of its inaugural international award. The Huon Valley business's limited-edition Somerset Redstreak Single Varietal cider won its class at the Spanish Cider Awards in November. The competition, in Hernani, near San Sebastian, was judged by an international committee of renowned cider tasters from the United States, Britain, Germany, France and Italy. Willie Smith's co-owner Sam Reid said: "It’s a massive thrill to be selected as Best Traditional English Cider at a European awards competition. In Australia we’ve got a bit of a tradition at beating the English at their own game and, so, it’s nice to be able to do this in cider now too!" Willie Smith's was the only Australian product to collect a trophy at the event.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

Edition 190_PieVan

'Tazzy' pies a hit in Bonn

When Australian visitors to Bonn, Germany, feel a craving for a hot meat pie, help is at hand: Tasmanian Gareth Patterson's Tazzy Food Truck is doing a roaring trade in meat pies and other treats from Down Under. "We offer the best out of Australia," Mr Patterson, formerly of Hobart, said. "Try our handmade gourmet pies and be delighted. Fresh baked, delicious and hot ... smash one down! Fair Dinkum good!" Former Australian Prime Minister, Tim Fischer, took up the invitation in November. “It was uplifting and energising to enjoy great Tazzy Food on the left bank of the Rhine in Bonn,” Mr Fischer said. The van is one of several offering locals and visitors lunch, dinner, drinks and coffee options on the former West German capital's busy Kennedyallee. There was a queue at the Tazzy Food Truck at the time of Mr Fischer's visit. “As a former Trade Minister, I was delighted to indulge and to spread the word about Tasmania and Australia — something I have been doing since 1996 when I had to eat a Tasmanian oyster in Tokyo at 6am at a key fish market.” Mr Fischer was in Bonn in his new role as Chairman of Crop Trust, an international organisation dedicated to safeguarding the world's crop biodiversity.

Image courtesy of Weekly Times Now

5 December 2017, Edition 190

Chromy named tourism champion

Tasmanian tourism titan, Josef Chromy, OAM, was inducted as a Tasmanian Tourism Champion at the Tasmanian Tourism Awards in November. He was recognised for his contribution to the State’s tourism industry and on-going investment in accommodation projects. The CEO of the Tourism Industry Council Tasmania, Luke Martin, said “Joe’s impact on the wine industry in Tasmania is nothing short of remarkable. Throughout the '90s he purchased, cultivated and on-sold vineyards throughout the Tamar Valley that are now home to some of Tasmania’s most celebrated labels. His signature wine label and wine centre ... is among the finest wineries in Australia and has established a truly iconic wine experience on the doorstep to Launceston. Joe’s impact on the tourism industry in Launceston is unrivalled.” Josef Chromy Wines also won a gold medal in the awards' Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries category. Port Arthur Historic Site was judged top Major Tourist Attraction.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

Insect farmer's flavour focus

Louise Morris, a Tasmanian insect farmer, believes insects can play an important role in feeding a growing global population but cautions about how insect protein is produced. "What they eat impacts so much on how much greenhouse gas impact, how much water went into that," Ms Morris told the ABC. "If you're essentially feeding them chicken food … you're not really making a huge impact [on the environment]." Ms Morris, who co-founded the Insect Protein Association of Australia, farms crickets, mealworms and Queensland wood cockroaches in northern Tasmania. She uses vegetable waste from local farms to feed her insects and said feeding insects different vegetables can affect their taste. "We're really focused with a few restaurants who are wanting to work with our insects … on bespoke insect flavours," she said. "It's creating a whole new income stream, employment opportunities and a product which really is 'brand Tasmania', because we are closed-looping it." According to some research about 80 per cent of the world's people consume insects as part of their regular diet. Ms Morris aims to have her insects on Tasmanian dinner plates in 2018.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

Village olive oil raises a grin

Village Olive Grove of Grindelwald won a trophy and a gold medal at the 2017 Australian International Olive Awards for producing the best extra virgin olive oil in Tasmania. Allen and Barbara Baird have tended 830 Frantoio trees on a 2.5ha Tamar Valley property for 12 years. Mr Baird said: “The Australian International Olive Awards are the national benchmark. We got a bronze medal in 2014 and 2015, silver in 2016 and now gold. Tasmanian olive oil has consistently won awards over the years because of our cool-climate conditions.” Village Olive Grove’s oil has also won silver and bronze medals at the Royal Hobart Fine Food Awards. Tasmanian producers were awarded 20 medals at the Australian International Olive Awards, including three gold, eight silver and nine bronze. The other gold medal winners were Cradle Coast Olives at Abbotsham and Lentara Grove at Exeter.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

Local gin wins in Hong Kong

Tasmania's Dasher + Fisher Mountain Gin has collected a trophy and gold medal at Hong Kong's 2017 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition. The Devonport-made tipple was judged the international event's Best London Dry Gin. Southern Wild Distillery owner George Burgess posted on Facebook: “We are beyond thrilled with the announcement that the industry’s most highly respected competition has announced us as the winner of the best gin category, and we are bursting at the seams with pride. Even more overwhelming is that there were 247 per cent more gin entries this year compared to last year." The Tasmanian gin label is only one year old, but it also collected a silver medal in the contemporary style gin category for its Dasher + Fisher Ocean Gin and a bronze in the same category for its Dasher + Fisher Meadow Gin. Mr Burgess, a converted food scientist, recently launched new gins flavoured with damson plums and sloe berries.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

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Latest news

Bigger, cleaner ships for TT-Line

Edition 190_TT-Line

TT-Line is set to order two new, bigger and cleaner ships to boost capacity and heighten customer appeal on its Bass Strait service.

11 December 2017, Edition 190

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