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Living in Tasmania stories

Kreglinger on Chatto worklist

Edition 189_Chatto

Nationally respected wine-maker and judge Jim Chatto has strengthened his Tasmanian presence, taking on the role of Chief Winemaker for Kreglinger Wine Estates at Pipers Brook.

He is overseeing the Kreglinger portfolios, including leading Tasmanian brands Ninth Island, Pipers Brook and Kreglinger Vintage Sparkling.

Mr Chatto is continuing in the same role for the McWilliam’s Wines Group, based in Scoresby, Victoria, and will also continue to make his own wines from his small Tasmanian vineyard at Glaziers Bay in the Huon Valley.

With his wife Daisy, he co-owns the Isle vineyard which produces fewer than 900 dozen bottles a year (Pipers Brook churns out 70,000 dozen and the McWilliam’s group many times more).

Wine critic James Halliday wrote in The Australian: “Time was when the large wineries would not tolerate any of their winemakers making wine on their own behalf, no matter how small.

“But chief winemaker for two major wine groups and his own family venture? It’s truly without precedent.”

Mr Chatto, who has been making wine for 20 years, is also a senior wine show judge with over 18 years’ experience across both regional and capital city shows.

He is Chairman of Judges for the National Wine Show of Australia.

Mr Chatto moved to Tasmania as the inaugural winemaker for Rosevears Estate in the Tamar Valley in 1988. He fell in love with Tasmanian pinot noir; and with a Tasmanian woman.

The couple left the State for the Hunter Valley in 2000, but kept their link with Tasmania and pinot noir when they launched a Chatto label and used Tasmanian fruit in early offerings.

“We then spent the next six years searching for the perfect vineyard site,” Mr Chatto said.

Isle Vineyard is sunny and well-drained, but it is in an undeniably cool region. “Right on the edge of viticultural possibility,” Mr Chatto said.

They began planting in 2007 and the first vintage (2012) was released in 2013.

“In 2014 the fruit quality from pockets of the vineyard saw the introduction of the single vineyard Isle label,” the winemaker said.

The Chattos’ 2016 wines, their fifth vintage, were released in August.

“Pinot is my wine passion, it’s what I have chosen to specialise in, and what better place than Tasmania,” Mr Chatto said.

“Tasmanian wine needs its best-known brands to be a national and international success. My goal at Pipers Brook is just that.”

In his dual corporate roles, Mr Chatto will provide stylistic direction, blending and strategic guidance to develop and mentor winemakers from both companies to produce wines with regional quality and integrity.

“Jim Chatto has a razor-sharp palate, a quicksilver mind and an outgoing personality,” Halliday wrote.

“There are other winemakers in Australia with similar talents, but none has the X-factor of being able to turn the impossible into reality, and keep everyone in the loop happy.”

Halliday penned his expert opinion on the two Chatto wines released in August:

2016 Chatto White Label Huon Valley Pinot Noir

The bouquet is still locked up, the palate anything but: intensely and immediately expressive, dark cherry/berry fruits held in an embrace of fine but persistent tannins and an airbrush of French oak. Its balance and length guarantee a long future, with spices bursting through. 13.5% alc, screwcap

97 points, drink to 2030, $50

2016 Chatto Isle Black Label Huon Valley Pinot Noir

Cherry and plum both contribute to the bouquet. The palate is altogether serious, with a remarkable mouthfeel built around the foundation of precisely calibrated tannins and hints of forest. Great purity and intensity. 13.5% alc, screwcap

98 points, drink to 2031, $75

Image courtesy of Jim Chatto

5 November 2017

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Facts about Tasmania

Tasmania

Tasmania is the southernmost state of Australia, located at latitude 40° south and longitude 144° east and separated from the continent by Bass Strait. It is a group of 334 islands, with the main island being 315 km (180 miles) from west to east and 286 km (175 miles) north to south.

Tasmania

Tasmanians are resourceful and innovative people, committed to a continually expanding export sector. In 2012–13, international exports from the state totalled $3.04 billion. USA, China, Taiwan, India, Japan and other Asian countries account for the bulk of exports, with goods and services also exported to Europe and many other regions.

Geography

Tasmania is similar in size to the Republic of Ireland or Sri Lanka. The Tasmanian islands have a combined coastline of more than 3,000 km.

Geography

The main island has a land area of 62,409 sq km (24,096 sq miles) and the minor islands, taken together, total only 6 per cent of the main island’s land area. The biggest islands are Flinders (1,374 sq km/539 sq miles), King, Cape Barren, Bruny and Macquarie Islands.

Geography

About 250km (150 miles) separates Tasmania’s main island from continental Australia. The Kent Group of Islands, one of the most northerly parts of the state, is only 55km (34 miles) from the coast of the Australian continent.

Climate

Twice named ‘Best Temperate Island in the World’ by international travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler, Tasmania has a mild, temperate maritime climate, with four distinct seasons.

Climate

In summer (December to February) the average maximum temperature is 21° Celsius (70° Fahrenheit). In winter (June to August) the average maximum is 12° C (52° F) and the average minimum is 4° C (40° F). Snow often falls in the highlands, but is rarely experienced in more settled areas.

Annual Rainfall

Tasmania’s west coast is one of the wettest places in the world, but the eastern part of the State lives in a rain-shadow. Hobart, the second-driest capital city in Australia, receives about half as much rain as Sydney.

Annual Rainfall

Annual rainfall in the west is 2,400 mm (95 inches), but hardy locals insist there is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing. If you travel 120 km east to Hobart, you experience a much drier average of 626 mm (24 inches) a year.

Population

The 512,875-strong community spreads itself across the land; less urbanised than the population of any other Australian state. Hobart, the capital city, is home to more than 212,000 people.

Capital City

Hobart nestles at the foot of kunanyi / Mount Wellington (1,270 m / 4,000 ft) and overlooks the Derwent Estuary, where pods of dolphins and migrating whales are sometimes seen from nearby beaches. Surrounded by thickly forested rolling hills, the city is home to the state parliament and the main campus of the University of Tasmania.

Capital City

Its historic centre features Georgian and Regency buildings from colonial times. Hobart is home port for coastal fishing boats, Antarctic expeditions and vessels that fish the Southern Ocean.

Land Formation

Mountain ranges in the south-west date back 1,000 million years. Ancient sediments were deeply buried, folded and heated under enormous pressure to form schists and glistening white quartzites.

Land Formation

In the south-west and central highlands, dolerite caps many mountains, including Precipitous Bluff and Tasmania’s highest peak, Mt Ossa (1617 m / 5300 ft). More than 42 per cent of Tasmania is World Heritage Area, national park and marine or forest reserves.

Flora

Vegetation is diverse, from alpine heathlands and tall open eucalypt forests to areas of temperate rainforests and moorlands, known as buttongrass plains. Many plants are unique to Tasmania and the ancestors of some species grew on the ancient super-continent, Gondwana, before it broke up 50 million years ago.

Flora

Unique native conifers include slow-growing Huon pines, with one specimen on Mt Read estimated to be up to 10,000 years old. Lomatia tasmanica, commonly known as King’s holly, is a self-cloning shrub that may well be the oldest living organism on earth. It was discovered in 1937.

Fauna

Tasmania is the last refuge of several mammals that once roamed the Australian continent. It is the only place to see a Tasmanian devil or eastern quoll (native cat) in the wild and is the best place to see the spotted-tailed quoll (tiger cat), all carnivorous marsupials.

Fauna

The eastern bettong and the Tasmanian pademelon, both now extinct on the Australian continent, may also be observed.

Fauna

The Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, was Australia’s largest surviving carnivorous marsupial and is a modern day mystery. The last documented thylacine died in captivity in 1936 and although the animal is considered extinct, unsubstantiated sightings persist.

History and Heritage

Aboriginal people have lived in Tasmania for about 35,000 years, since well before the last Ice Age. They were isolated from the Australian continent about 12,000 years ago, when the seas rose to flood low coastal plains and form Bass Strait.

History and Heritage

Descendants of the original people are part of modern Tasmania’s predominantly Anglo-Celtic population.

History and Heritage

Tasmania was originally named Van Dieman’s Land by the Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman in 1642. The island was settled by the British as a penal colony in 1803 and the original name was associated with the convict era. It was changed to Tasmania when convict transportation stopped in 1853.

Economy

A resourceful island culture has generated leading-edge niche industries, from production of high-speed catamaran ferries and marine equipment to lightning-protection technology.

Economy

Tasmanians produce winches and windlasses for some of the world’s biggest ocean-going pleasure craft; large-scale inflatable evacuation systems and provide specialist outfit-accommodation services to the marine industry.

Economy

The Wooden Boat Centre at Shipwrights Point has re-established the skills and traditions of another age and attracts students from around the world.

Economy

Tasmania is a world leader in natural turf systems for major sporting arenas and in areas of mining technology and environmental management. Its aquaculture industry has developed ground-breaking fish-feeding technology and new packaging.

Economy

Tasmanians sell communications equipment to many navies and their world-class fine timber designers and craftsmen take orders internationally for furniture made from distinctive local timber.

Economy

The state is a natural larder with clean air, unpolluted water and rich soils inviting the production of 100 varieties of specialty cheeses, as well as other dairy products, mouth-watering rock lobsters, oysters, scallops and abalone, Atlantic salmon, beef, premium beers, leatherwood honey, mineral waters, fine chocolates, fresh berry fruits, apples and crisp vegetables.

Economy

Tasmania is a producer of award-winning cool-climate wines, beers, ciders and whiskies. Other export products include essential oils such as lavender, pharmaceutical products and premium wool sought after in Europe and Asia. Hobart is a vital gateway to the Antarctic and a centre for Southern Ocean and polar research.

Economy

The industries in Tasmania which made the greatest contribution to the State’s gross product in 2010–11 in volume terms were: Manufacturing (9.4%), Health care and social assistance (8.2%), Financial and insurance services (7.2%), Ownership of dwellings and Agriculture, forestry and fishing (each 7.1%).

Getting to Tasmania

Travel is easy, whether by air from Sydney or Melbourne, or by sea, with daily sailings of the twin ferries Spirit of Tasmania 1 and 2 each way between Melbourne and Devonport throughout the year.

This site has been produced by the Brand Tasmania Council © 2014

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