Cellar doors in the Tasmanian capital

Nick Glaetzer is something of a pioneer. His family has been producing wine in the Barossa Valley since the late 1800s, forging their reputation with Shiraz, producing some of the best in South Australia. Nick’s father, Colin, is a famous Barossa shiraz maker. His uncle, John, also makes Barossa Shiraz. Nick’s brothers, Ben and Sam, make Barossa Shiraz.

And yet, Nick Glaetzer gave up everything to make pinot noir in an ice cream factory in Hobart.

That’s where I find myself today, in this 1940s warehouse on the northern edge of Hobart’s central business district, across from a few car dealerships and an Officeworks outlet. Here, blocks of ice were once made for various industrial purposes; nowadays, good wine is produced under the expert eye of Glaetzer.

Yes, it’s really done here. The grapes are trucked into the city from various parts of Apple Island, they are dumped into vats and fermented, transferred to barrels to age, then finally bottled right here in an old warehouse in the middle of town. . High-quality Riesling, award-winning Pinot Noir and even, in a nod to Glaetzer’s heritage, a cool-climate Shiraz.

It is Tasmania’s first ‘urban winery’, established after an inspiring trip Glaetzer made to Santa Barbara in the USA, home to a huge range of winemaking facilities and cellars within the city limits. . The wines produced here are now highly sought after, and the cellar door experience is a must for anyone in Hobart interested in food and wine from the source.

It’s a trend in this town, in case you haven’t noticed. While Tasmania is well known for its fresh produce and gourmet farm-to-table cuisine, what’s surprising is that this source experience isn’t just limited to the countryside. It is available in the middle of Hobart.

The most obvious example is Glaetzer-Dixon Family Winemakers, both home and office, a place to make wine and raise a family, as Nick and his wife Sally live on the premises, just upstairs of the old ice factory. But there’s more to this city for those who want to seek out, so to speak, the freshest ingredients and culinary experiences offered by the very people who created the product.

Move further into the city, into the very heart of the historic dock area, and stroll through the Polar Institute, a clever gin bar that also functions as an urban cellar door for Domaine Simha. This is a small winery run by Polar Institute owners Nav Singh and Louise Radman. The pair’s lo-fi wines are highly sought after, and the opportunity to try their incredible fine Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah, served up by the very people who created them, is impossible to turn down.

Just across from the Polar Institute, discover Peppina, an upscale Italian restaurant where local chef Massimo Mele takes meticulous care to source as locally as possible. “At Tassie, everything is so close that you can reach out and touch the product, or connect to its origin,” says Mele. “I know where everything we cook with comes from, who grew it, where it was grown, how it got here and the name of the person who delivered it.”

Visitors to Hobart can also learn all of these names. Stroll down Bathurst Street at the north end of town on a Sunday morning and you’ll find Farm Gate Market, where stalls selling fresh local produce, from fruit to cheese to meat and even gin, are all held by the producers. Have a question about the wide range of world-class ingredients on sale? The person in front of you knows the answer. He or she grew it or made it.

And Nick Glaetzer, of course, has the answers to your wine questions. He or his wife, Sally, will be the ones who will do tastings at the door of their town cellar, share their passion, share their product. And you don’t have to leave town.

The writer traveled as a guest of Tourism Tasmania


Glaetzer-Dixon Family Winemakers is open for tastings daily by appointment. See gdfwinemakers.com

The Polar Institute is open Thursday to Sunday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. See polarinstitut.com.au

Peppina is open daily for breakfast and dinner. See peppinarestaurant.com Farm Gate Market is Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. See farmgatemarket.com.au

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