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Food and beverage stories

The following stories relate to Tasmania’s Food and Beverage sector:

Our whisky is world’s best again

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A Tasmanian whisky has been named best in the world again – even beating the Scots at their own game.

11 April 2018, Edition 193

Brewers descend on Bushy Park

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The world’s boutique brewers descended on the small village of Bushy Park for the annual hop harvest as the thirst for craft beer continues to explode.

11 April 2018, Edition 193

Historic harvest at Government House

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Tasmania’s grape harvest is in full swing, and this year the state’s thriving wine industry has a new player on the block – Government House. In a historic event, the first grapes grown in the stately gardens of Hobart’s Government House have been plucked off the vines. The grapes were planted with much fanfare three years ago: a total of 1500 merlot, riesling and cabernet vines added to the rolling lawns. Head gardener at Government House, Ben Essex, told ABC Rural he is excited about overseeing the historic harvest: “I have only been here just over a month and I can’t believe the first big job is to make sure the grape harvest goes smoothly.” He added the wines would be made off-site pointing to the bumper crop: “We are expecting to pick around five bins of riesling grapes today which then will be processed by Winemaking Tasmania at Cambridge.” While the finished product is still a few years in the making, Governor Kate Warner has already planned to serve her own wine with pride to the thousands of people who visit Government House each year. Although what will be on the label is still a matter of conjecture.

Image courtesy of ABC News

Here's a sneak peak as Brand Tasmania tests the early reaction to Tasmania's 2018 vintage at three southern Tasmania vineyards:

11 April 2018, Edition 193

State battles fruit fly threat

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Tasmania’s biosecurity status, described as globally unique, faced its gravest challenge in decades after an incursion by Queensland fruit fly.

8 March 2018, Edition 192

Ashgrove to build dairy Mecca

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Ashgrove Cheese plans to create a major food-tourism drawcard at Elizabeth Town after securing a Regional Jobs and Investment Packages grant from Canberra.

8 March 2018, Edition 192

Cascade to be beverage hub

Carlton & United Breweries is to make all its small-batch beers and ciders at Hobart's Cascade Brewery. The company will invest $10.3 million at the historic site so that production can be lifted by 65 per cent. The project, which includes improvements to the brewery's visitor centre, will generate 20 jobs in the construction phase and a small number of additional brewing jobs. CUB plans to use the brewery, which employs 86 people at present, as a test hub for new beers and ciders for markets in the Asia Pacific. Tasmania's Office of Co-Ordinator General supported the project with a $1 million grant. The caretaker Premier, Will Hodgman, said: “This is very much about securing jobs that could have been lost to our State. There were proposals for other States to have similar things there, but we fought hard to make sure, through the Office of the Co-Ordinator General, that Tasmanian jobs were being protected, but also [accepting] an opportunity to value add at this wonderful brewery. This is a significant investment in something that is classically Tasmanian.”

8 March 2018, Edition 192

Lots of gold for vintners

An impressive 34 Gold Medals were handed out at the 28th Tasmanian Wine Show at Josef Chromy Wines, Relbia. Champion Wine of Show went to the 2011 Heemskerk Chardonnay Pinot Noir Sparkling, reflecting the ascendancy of sparkling wine in the State of Islands. Samantha Connew's 2016 Stargazer Chardonnay collected a gold medal and took out the People's Choice Award. New Zealand-born Ms Connew bought a vineyard in the Coal River Valley in 2016 to grow grapes for her solo winemaking venture, Stargazer. “The varieties I care about — riesling, chardonnay and pinot noir — I mean they can all be grown in other places in Australia, but to make the best examples of all three, Tasmania was the only option,” Ms Connew told News Corp. “And for me the attraction of working with the fruit here is that it doesn’t require too much stuffing around, it doesn’t need any acid additions, so basically you can ferment it, chuck it in oak and get it into bottle.” Led by Chairman Huon Hooke and Emeritus Chairman, James Halliday, the judging panel said the high medal strike rate was a reflection of the quality of Tasmanian wine.

8 March 2018, Edition 192

Walsh acquires Domaine A

MONA owner, David Walsh, has acquired one of Tasmania's premier wine brands, Domaine A. Under founder and winemaker Peter Althaus, the Coal River Valley vineyard has developed a reputation for excellence and has played a pioneering role in opening up Chinese export markets. Mr Althaus said: "Ruth and I have decided, after 29 years on Stoney Vineyard, to sell the business and enjoy some well-earned time to rest, travel and spend time with our family ... I am confident I have chosen the right organisation, winemaker and people to maintain my label’s integrities and qualities. In keeping with my ethos of winemaking and business, this decision had very little to do with money! It was, most importantly, about feeling assured that the legacy I have built will be in the hands of appropriate custodians." Domaine A will operate as a subsidiary of Mr Walsh's Moorilla Estate Pty Ltd and winemaker duties at Domaine A will pass to the well-credentialed Conor van der Reest of Moorilla. Mr Althaus said. "I will always be available to Conor and his team for advice if they so desire it, and obviously the nature of my processes mean there are many years of wines made by me yet to be released." Mr van der Reest said: “We recognise Domaine A/Stoney Vineyard as a cornerstone of quality Tasmanian winemaking and are delighted to now have it join our portfolio. Moorilla and Domaine A are both very much focused on making wines that truly show what Tasmania and our individual vineyards have to offer. We look forward to working with Peter and Ruth Althaus to make sure we protect the integrity of this brand that has such a loyal and well-deserved customer base.”

8 March 2018, Edition 192

Lawrenny infuses spirits with place

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The Mace family at Ouse has given new scale to the concept of using colonial built heritage to market Tasmanian single-malt whisky.

8 February 2018, Edition 191

Tetsuya’s tops nation again

Tetsuya’s, the Sydney restaurant owned by Tasmania's Brand Ambassador, Tetsuya Wakuda, AO, has been named 2017 Restaurant of the Year at the National Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering Hostplus Awards for Excellence in Melbourne. It was the fourth time the Japanese-born Australian master chef has taken the award's top gong. He said: “I’m very grateful, of course - it’s a real privilege, from the bottom of my heart. But it’s not me. It’s my staff. I congratulate my staff. The team won this, not me.” Restaurant critic Simon Thomsen said: “Tetsuya is the epitome of the Japanese concept of takumi - craftsmanship. He’s always stayed true to his standards; his Japanese sense of excellence.” Tetsuya has remained at the pinnacle of his profession for 25 years, earning comparisons with tennis great Roger Federer. His Singapore restaurant, Waku Ghin, was awarded two stars in the 2017 Michelin Guide, Singapore, making him the first Australian chef to have two Michelin stars. "There's no such thing as perfection," the great chef said. “But we try to be close.”

8 February 2018, Edition 191

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Tasmania's Stories Edition 193

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Last month we said goodbye to Michael Jenkinson, our long serving wordsmith who had compiled our Tasmania's Stories Newsletter for over a decade. Please enjoy your April newsletter.

12 April 2018, Edition 193

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