Tasmania’s cool climate wines, which include varieties like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, have won numerous accolades in recent years. The East Coast is one of the state’s premier wine-growing regions, with growing conditions that are comparable to some of Europe’s most famous areas of wine production. Our warm summer days, cool nights, and long autumns create perfect conditions for grapes to ripen slowly and produce complex, delicious wines.
Guests staying at Freycinet Resort are perfectly located for exploring the East Coast Wine Trail – a road trip that spans the East Coast of Tasmania and takes in a dozen wineries and cellar doors. Many of these producers offer tastings and wine sales, while some even offer full restaurant menus.
Every winery on the East Coast is unique and they each have their own story to tell. Many are family-owned and operated. It’s such a special experience to meet the people who have produced the wine, and sit in the sunshine sipping a glass or two as you look out over the rolling vineyards and spectacular East Coast landscapes.
In order to help your planning, we have pulled together a simple guide to the wine producers who are within easy reach of Freycinet Resort. We recommend that you check out their individual websites, as opening hours vary seasonally and some vineyards are only open by appointment.
You can also check out Wine Tasmania’s East Coast Wine Trail page, which is updated regularly as new wineries come online or change their offerings.
One of the wineries closest to Freycinet Resort is Overtime Vineyard at Bicheno. A small, family-owned vineyard with ocean views, the cellar door is usually open for tastings, and you’re welcome to bring your own picnic. They stock varieties from nearby producer Apsley Gorge as well as their own Overtime Pinot Noir.
Bicheno is also home to the Farm Shed East Coast Wine Centre. If you’re in Tasmania for a short break and don’t have time to travel around and visit the individual wineries, this is a perfect alternative. The friendly, knowledgeable owners have up to 12 East Coast wines available for tasting each day, along with local gins and whisky. You’ll find wines here from a number of small producers that don’t have their own cellar door so it’s well worth popping in for a browse, and perhaps to pick up a bottle or two to take home with you.
Further north, just over an hour from Freycinet Resort, you’ll find Iron House Vineyards at Four Mile Creek. With more than 30 hectares of vines overlooking the ocean, this is a beautiful spot to enjoy a tasting.
For a warm and friendly welcome, keep driving north until you reach Priory Ridge Wines near St Helens. The cellar door – located in an old sheep shearing shed – may be more rustic than some others on the East Coast, but owner Julie Llewellyn has a wealth of knowledge to share, and their rich, buttery Chardonnay is second to none.
Cranbrook and Apslawn
Just 30-35 minutes from Freycinet Resort, you’ll find a congregation of top-notch wineries in very close proximity. The cellar door at Freycinet Vineyard is open daily for tastings, and in addition to their excellent wine selection you can pick up a bottle of their fragrant olive oil, also grown and produced onsite.
Less than a kilometre away is Devil’s Corner Cellar Door, which boasts some of the prettiest winery views on the East Coast, and offers an award-winning, architecturally designed lookout so you can take full advantage of their spectacular position overlooking Moulting Lagoon.
Continuing south, you’ll find a further three wineries clustered around Cranbrook. Craigie Knowe is the oldest vineyard on the East Coast, and in addition to wine and cheese pairings, they offer a unique wine and chocolate menu; Spring Vale is another family-owned winery and vineyard, offering cellar door tastings in their original, convict-built stable from the 1840s; and Gala Estate produce award-winning, fruit-driven wines at their Halliday 5 Star Winery, which is open 10am-4pm from September through to May.
Swansea and surrounds
Near the small town of Swansea, which is about 50 minutes from Freycinet Resort, there are two wineries that are both worth a visit. Milton Vineyard’s focus is boutique batches of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewurztraminer, while their Alm Restaurant serves a daily menu of delicious local and seasonal dishes. Enjoy your meal overlooking the vineyards and lake.
Kelvedon Estate also have a beautiful outlook over their vineyards, and welcome visitors who would like to sample their wines – but they are open by appointment only so please contact them in advance by phone or email.
The Road South
The two southernmost vineyards on the East Coast Wine Trail are Boomer Creek Vineyard at Little Swanport, about 70 minutes from Freycinet Resort, and Darlington Vineyard at Orford, which is about 90 minutes from the resort.
Boomer Creek is a small family vineyard, with the property also home to sheep, cattle, and an olive farm. Their new cellar door – overlooking the Freycinet Peninsula and Schouten Island – showcases their wine selection, along with Tasmanian teas and coffees, beers, and soft drinks. There are also products available to build your own cheese and meat platters.
Finally, in the small coastal town of Orford, you will find Darlington Vineyard. Enjoy a glass of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc as you take in the view of nearby Maria Island. They are open daily, except for Christmas and Boxing Day.
– Ruth Dawkins ( commissioned by Freycinet Resort)