Reverse Osmosis last week from guildsomm user and Jake Lewis. Thanks guys!
This week: Geography of Tasmania
What are the major natural features that influence the climate here? Identify the major wine growing areas. Name 3 producers.
Tasmania is really two different areas under 1 GI( Tasmania): North and South. Both are influenced by the Antarctic Ocean and its cool currents.
The north is where most of the viticulture is. Unofficial Subzones follow the natural features: Pipers River and Tamar (River) Valley, which provide ample water and moderating forces. It is cool climate helped by long sunshine hours. The Tamar River provides some warmth, and the ensuing valley provides shelter from the ocean winds, allowing production of Cabernet (along with Pinot, Chard and Riesling, which are generally planted everywhere in Tasmania)
Southern Tasmania is most influenced by the rivers Dewent and Huon (both unofficial subzones), as most vineyards lie adjacent to the river (giving warmth similar to the Mosel). The East Coast (unofficial sub) is a series of gorges formed by the Swan, Apsley, and Freycinet rivers. The Gorges hold in heat (as is the theme in Tasmanian viticulture). Finally, the Coal River provides its own shelter for its own unofficial subzone.Rain is scarce here, so irrigation is essential, and all of the rivers provide access to water. Top names in the north are Jansz, Notley Gorge, and Piper's Brook
in the south: Moorilla Estate, Coombend, and Bream Creek.
Tasmania is a dynamic part of Australia (and useful if you ever need to solve the "five-course meal using only wine from islands" scenario) influenced by a range of maritime forces. The Tasman Sea to the east, the Bass Strait to the north (separating it from the mainland/Victoria), and the Southern Ocean to the west and south ensure constant airflow and cooling influences that allow varieties that thrive in cooler climates to excel...in the north. The Bass Strait in particular has punishing winds that make sheltered sites critical on the coast.
I'll defer to Jeremy's breakdown of the river influences as they're spot on.
Adding to the producer list, the northern producers of Darymple, Tolpuddle and House of Arras are noteworthy and generally available in the US. In the south, Domaine A has been a pioneer.