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Tasmania’s Stories

World’s best – again

Edition 196_Lubiana

An incredible hat-trick for Tasmania’s Stefano Lubiana Winery which has just won world’s best bio-dynamic wine at a prestigious London show – for the third year in a row.

Stefano Lubiana has beaten off tough competition with one of its Pinot’s crowned top bio-dynamic wine at the 2018 International Wine Challenge in London, an award they also won in 2016 and last year.

The award winners were only announced last night (July 10) and speaking from London, Monique Lubiana told us she was “ecstatic”.

“To win the award twice was incredible enough, but three times in a row is really fantastic news,” Monique said.

“It vindicates our vision and hard work – and doing the right thing for the planet. It is also proof that Tasmania really does produce some of the best wines in the world.”

There was an impressive field vying for the title of champion bio-dynamic wine at the London awards with top wines from 12 countries competing for the trophy.

But leaving them all in its wake: the Lubiana Ruscello Pinot Noir 2016 which topped the field.

“It’s a wine that can compete on the world stage – and it has won,” Monique adds.

“The Ruscello is so successful because it’s such a simple wine that shows the expression of the terroir really well. It’s very easy to drink, very smooth, but has a lot of complexity and depth of flavour.”

Stefano Lubiana is a family-run estate that Monique and her husband Steve – a fifth generation wine-maker – established 28 years ago.

It straddles 25 hectares overlooking the Derwent Estuary at Granton, just north of Hobart, and is Tasmania’s bio-dynamic pioneer, producing wines – mostly pinots – that are natural and unadorned.

“A bio-dynamic wine is a wine that your great-grandfather would have drunk,” Steve explains.

“It’s a wine that was made before the industrial age, a wine without chemicals, without synthetic compounds, made in a very old-fashioned way with very few additives – if any at all – and it just shows the true flavour of its place.”

The bio-dynamic movement is one of the big trends sweeping the world of wine.

Put simply: it is organic but with even more stringent conditions, and where farming practices are based on a holistic approach. The vineyard is viewed as one solid organism where everything is interconnected and operates in a beautiful natural balance.

“It all begins in the vineyard where you must firstly grow bio-dynamic grapes,” Steve said.

“This is old school farming, with no herbicides or pesticides. We look after the soil and work really hard in the vineyard to make a clean natural product.

“Then when you reach the winery it’s very easy, because the grapes arrive in such perfect balance that the wine-maker has very little to do – the wine makes itself.”

However, the secret really lies in special bio-dynamic preparations – potent homeopathic mixtures – that are added to soils and compost to add nutrients and balance.

As Monique says, it's “about working with nature, not against it".

It is estimated that around 15 per cent of wines in Europe and 10 per cent in the USA are bio-dynamic, and those numbers are growing rapidly.

“All the top wines in Europe are now bio-dynamic and if you really want to compete on the world stage, you have no choice but to go bio-dynamic,” Monique said.

“These wines are the holy grail if you are serious about wine-making, they are the best of the best.”

It may be big news overseas but in Australia, the bio-dynamic movement is still very much in its infancy, with Steve estimating around 50 wineries using this method including top producers such as Cullen Wines.

However, in Tasmania Stefano Lubiana is the state’s only certified bio-dynamic winery, which means it operates under very strict guidelines and is audited every year.

So, while these natural wines are so much better for the earth, they are also clearly a winner in the glass!

“Bio-dynamic wines are beautiful clean wines that are healthy and natural. They are a pure expression of our vineyard,” Steve said.

It seems the only problem Monique and Steve now face is keeping up with demand.

As the international awards pile up, so too does Stefano Lubiana’s reputation as a producer of world class wines, and the orders are flowing in thick and fast.

They recently sent off their biggest overseas shipment: 500 dozen (7,200 bottles) of wine bound for Sweden, one of the countries at the forefront of the bio-dynamic wine movement.

A huge accolade for Stefano Lubiana but also for Tasmania which is increasingly loved around the world for its clean, green brand.

“You can’t get much cleaner – or much greener – than our wines,” Monique enthuses.

Image courtesy of Robert Heazlewood

View our video of Anna McMahon talking with Monique and Steve Lubiana about their award winning bio-dynamic wines.

Video still - World’s best bio-dynamic wine for the third year in a row
Watch video on YouTube

11 July 2018, Edition 196

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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

Brand Tasmania

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