Tamar Valley Wine Region
The Tamar Valley is Tasmania's oldest and largest wine growing region renowned for cool climate wines most notably pinot and riesling varieties. The region is also home to the premier gourmet food and wine trail the Tamar Valley Touring Route which follows the majestic Tamar Valley 58 kilometres through the high-yielding vineyard country, orchards, scenic pastures and forests from Launceston to Bass Strait.
Many grape varieties do well in the Tamar Valley region because the river provides protection against frost. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc are notable, while varieties such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon ripen with consistency. The Tamar Valley produces about 40% of Tasmania's wine.
Hoaty Hill Wines
Following the signs from Launceston indicating the Tamar Valley Wine Route, wine lovers will be delighted by everything this beautiful region has to offer. Between Legana and Beauty Point there are numerous vineyards, several with stunning river views with most boasting cellar doors. Due to many of the vineyards being small and family-owned growers will often greet you and personally explain how their wine is made. As you head south toward the Batman Bridge, linking the western and eastern banks of the Tamar River, you will pass the Lavender House at Rowella where more than 100 varieties of lavender grow and flower between August and May. Here you can browse the showroom, peaceful gardens and fragrant fields or just sit and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee in the tearooms.
Once across the Batman Bridge follow the partly sealed road on the right which will lead you to the picturesque hamlet of Hillwood. At Hillwood Strawberry Farm you can indulge in freshly picked strawberries topped with dollops of cream or in summer you can pick your own and taste some of their locally made fruit wines. From Hillwood it is an easy drive to the historic town George Town, Australia's third oldest town settled in 1804. Further along the Tamar River at Low Head you can visit Australia's oldest continuously operated pilot station and a maritime museum.
Legana is a small township on the Tamar River, located 12 kilometres north of Tasmania's second largest city, Launceston. The name "Legana" is based on the Aboriginal word for "fresh water" since it is at the point where the Tamar River becomes fresh water. There is currently a homestead called "Freshwater" which was adjacent to a private jetty where early settlers traded with the local natives. Legana was originally a rural town made up of dairy farms, apple orchards, and cattle grazing. Most of the residences were originally located near the Tamar River with housing developments built nearer to the West Tamar Highway.