Just 10 minutes south of Launceston on the Tamar Valley wine route lies this awesome little Tasmanian secret with a delicious bounty of wines. While I am normally a red wine drinker (and a pretentious “Champagne-only” sparkling drinker), I do find that Tasmania has some of the best sparkling whites at affordable prices and Sharmans Wines offers one of these.
Established in 1987 by Mike and Phillippa Sharman, the winery changed hands in 2012 to Queenslander, Matthew Creak and family who have since upgraded the cellar door.
Tasmania is interesting from the wide range of micro-climates and big differences can be seen in properties not very far apart. The Relbia and North Esk Valley for some reason are warm locations and varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon can be ripened in most years.
The wines offered at Sharmans are Pinot Noir, Cabernet/Merlot, Sparkling, Chardonnay (both oaked and unoaked), Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. During my visit, I picked up some of the 2010 Sparkling (which is brut-style sparkling that uses about 50% chardonnay and 50% pinot noir grapes and has spritely green apple, melon and peach characteristics)and some 2013 Cabernet Merlot (a delicious drop with berry and cassis fruit characteristics).
Not only is the wine fantastic, the Australiana-style bottle labels are a delight as well. Designed by a local artist, who now resides in Melbourne, the labels feature animals that you will see around Tasmania.
The winery itself is one worthy of a visit and the cellar door now serves cheese platters, so you can enjoy a glass (or many) with some food amongst the fabulous views of the property.
Visit www.sharmanswines.com.au for more information about Sharman Wines and how to purchase the wines (there is free freight Australia wide).