It’s a tale of one island, two cities and a lot of love for Tasmanian food and wine.
There’s a lot to love about Tasmania. Locals have some of the nation’s best food and wine on their doorstep. Mainlanders, however, have to try a little harder to get up close and personal with the people behind the good stuff.
That’s exactly why Wine Tasmania came up with the Sydney and Melbourne-based event VIN Diemen, a celebration of all things Tasmania.
“This event is the only opportunity that people in Melbourne and Sydney will have to look at over 100 Tasmanian wines side-by-side,” says Sheralee Davies, chief executive officer at Wine Tasmania. “The only other way you could do that is to jump on a plane or get the ferry across to Tasmania and spend a week or two travelling around to those individual wine producers.”
Now in its fourth year, VIN Diemen is held in Sydney on 11 August and in Melbourne on 12 August. Everyone is invited. Each event features more than 100 wines, 25 producers, and food made using Tasmanian produce. In a nutshell, it’s two solid days of eating, tasting, learning and socialising.
“Tassie food and wine goes hand in hand,” Sheralee says. “The style of our wines in terms of being a cooler climate, means they are elegant yet intense. The structure that we usually get through the longer ripening season here gives us wines that are just made to be enjoyed with food.”
The format for each city slightly differs. Sydney’s event will be held at the National Art School’s Cell Block Theatre. “It builds on the format we’ve had before; a really relaxed, enjoyable festival feel. We have inside and outside areas and people can grab a taste of something, relax, and talk to the wine producers. We expect to see about 500 people at that event.”
A VIP experience is also available. This entitles people to entry into the event an hour early, a glass of sparkling on arrival and unfettered access to food and wine tastings: from sparkling, to Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay (keep your eye out for the Dalrymple Cave Block Chardonnay 2016) and Pinot Noir (Dalrymple Pinot Noir 2016, Dalrymple Single Site Coal River Valley Pinot Noir 2014, and the Dalrymple Single Site Ouse Pinot Noir 2014).
The new release Dalrymple Cottage Block Pinot Noir 2015 is also worth a special mention. This is the first time wine enthusiasts will see this new vintage release, the tasting of which is exclusive to the VIP part of the Sydney event.
Melbourne’s format is one big, all-inclusive roving feast at Southbank’s Pure South Dining. The restaurant is devoted to Tasmanian produce.
“The whole tasting is a VIP experience. When you arrive you’ll be greeted by a couple of producers, be given a welcome glass of sparkling, and move upstairs and through a tasting program that is basically laid out like the geography of the island. You’ll go into an area – let’s say the Coal River Valley, and have your Coal River Valley wine producers and Coal River Valley food offering.” Other regions are the East Coast, Tamar Valley, Derwent Valley, North West, and Pipers River. The menu includes ingredients such as Scottsdale Pork, Tongola farm goats curd, Hardy Family octopus, cured Huon ocean trout, Tasmanian grass-fed beef tartare, and St Helens ‘Lease 65’ Oysters.
Tasmanian spirits and cider will also be on show. “The diversity around the island is staggering – whether we’re talking about landscape or wine. Tasmania represents quality. Whether it’s food, wine, whisky or cider. It’s for people who are really interested in Tasmania and know that this is just a bit easier than getting across to Tasmania itself.”
Each event runs from 12 noon to 5pm and ticket prices range from $65 to $105 for Sydney tickets (early entry at 11am for VIP), and $125 for Melbourne tickets. Prices include all wine tastings, food samples, and a Plumm wine glass to taste from and keep.