May 12, 2015 chase c

My Final Tassie Post

My final two and half weeks in Tasmania have been absolutely awesome. The weekend of the 25th and 26th, Alessio, Monia, Irinna, Alice, Marta and I all drove up to Freycinet National Park for some exploration and a hike to Wineglass Bay! For those of you who don’t know, Wineglass Bay is supposedly one of the most beautiful beaches in the whole world, so I had to find out for myself. The basic hike to the bay is only about 2 hours, with awesome look out spots along the way. Once you get there however, you will want to have a lunch packed and hang out because it is a spectacular site! Below is a selfie of me from one of the lookouts on the hike to the bay. Also here is a photo of the cool rock trail that takes you there, as well as various shots from the bay itself.

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We walked all the way around the beach and found the bones of this massive whale, so we decided to build our own art sculpture. On the other side there was this yacht that looked like it had been anchored for a couple days…not a bad place to hang out!

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On the way back we took rests, and did a little bouldering. The landscape, besides the trees and bush, reminded me a lot of the Santa Barbara Mountains. Massive ricks lined the trails, some looking like they would tip over at any moment. Here are a couple pictures of the fun we had!

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When we got back to the car park we came upon a friendly wallaby that we played with for a little while. I think this guy knew the ropes a little too well as he was very tame and basically hopped right up to us. Here are some photos….

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My final week and a half in the winery was not anything too dramatic. Basically I ended up barreling down the rest of the wine we had, and making sure the ground cellar was clean, organized, and ready for a year or more of ageing. This meant cleaning the barrels, writing on each row what block and wine it was etc. But, on Thursday last week I took the day off and went deep sea fishing with Marc the vineyard manager!

Since I arrived here I have wanted to get at least one day of fishing in, and it finally happened! We got up super early and drove to Port Arthur, which is southeast of Hobart, right next to the Tasman National Park. It was about an hour and a half drive to the port, and we were on the water by about 8am. We set out to fish for Tuna, of which May is basically the end of the season because the water gets too cold and they head out. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. We boated around the Tasman Sea, only about a mile or so off the coast. The deeper water gets to almost 400 feet, deep enough for Tuna and also plenty of rockfish. As beautiful as the day was, the fishing was not as hot as we had wished it would be. However, I did end up catching a small Stripe Jack Tuna, a Perch, and some rockfish, so we went home with enough for a couple meals. Below are some pictures from the day on the water.

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This last weekend we visited one of the other wineries down the road, Morilla, which is connected to the Estate and museum “Mona.” If you come to Tassie, this will for sure be recommended in most travel books, and for good reason. The owner of the company is a professional gambler who made a ton of money and used it to buy art from all over the world. He bought this piece of property close to Hobart and built this incredible museum to house his collections, and it has turned into quite the attraction. Not to mention they have multiple places to eat on sight, complete with their own winery and brewery! Below are a couple pictures of the winery and some of the wines we tried.

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On a total side note, I posted an Instagram picture of something called “The Jerry” which I thought I would share on this blog. Below is a picture of “The Jerry.” Basically this is referring to the thick layer of fog in the distance over the river. All of the cold air from the mountains filters down towards the river, and as it collides with the warm air coming off the river, it condenses into this dense fog that briskly flows through the valley. It’s crazy that on one side of the river it is covered in fog and about ten degrees colder than what I was experiencing on our side which remains in the sunlight. As I said in the post, its things like this that contribute to this areas micro climate!

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A couple nights ago we had what I would refer to as our “last supper” together, and we opened some truly awesome wines. We started off with Brut Rose that Steve has not even released yet, but it is tasting awesome! We also had a 2012 and 2013 black label Riesling, which were both fermented and aged in large format casks. And for dinner we had a 2010 Nebbiolo of which he has no more of, and a 2012 Settebello that is his single vineyard Pinot Noir. Everything tasted magnificent, and I felt so honored and thankful to get to try these wines, before their release, and also many that have been long sold out. Below is one photo of the first three wines.

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All in all I have had the time of my life here in Tasmania. I feel honored to have worked in a place that I believe will soon be on the map as one of the premier wine regions of the world. Not only that, but I got to work at the premier winery in all of Tasmania. This harvest I learned not only new winemaking techniques, but realized once again that winemaking is a constant journey. It never reaches a plateau unless you want it to, which is scary and inspiring at the same time. I am so grateful of Steve and Monique Lubiana for opening up their home to me, for feeding me, and giving me a roof over my head for the last two months. They have made this the most comfortable harvest I have ever worked abroad thus far. I am so excited to take what I have learned back to the states and use what I can to make the best wine possible.

Thank you very much for reading my blog. I could not fit all of my experience in writing or else I would have had no time for work! If you are ever considering a trip to Tassie, do it. You will not be disappointed. It is a beautiful place with so much to offer. I hope you enjoyed my adventure, sorry for any grammatical mistakes I may have made, and I look forward to seeing you at the tasting room!

–Chase

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