Thursday 4 July 2013
Hansard of the Legislative Council
WINE ROUTE AWARDS
Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Mr President, some
people think a wine route is like a pub crawl with cellars instead of bars, but
it is not so. Wine routes, like the Tamar Valley Wine Route, are much less
excessive and much more sophisticated. Who ever heard of a pub crawl that gives
annual awards? Mind you, for some, it sounds like a pretty good idea. I want to talk more about those awards later.
Just what is
the Tamar Valley Wine Route? It grew from one licensed cellar door - Marion's
Vineyard - to now more than 30 cellar doors, spread over 170 kilometres around
the Tamar Valley. It is a great tourism
asset and it welds together all of those vineyards into a cohesive group, as
demonstrated by the annual awards, which I attended last Friday night.
award this year was the Service to the Industry Award won by Sally McShane of
Humbug Reach Vineyard in my electorate. Sally took on the challenge of
compiling the Tamar Valley Wine Route history project over the last two years.
The history is now online as a digital archive accessible to all. Sally McShane
said that many modern-day pioneers of the wine industry are now retiring and
there was that need, she felt, to capture their stories.
records were already lost with one major company sending their records
interstate and then losing them. The story of the wine industry in Tasmania is
of people, passion and place. We want to be able to tell that story to the
world. No early retirement in this industry. People are leaving somewhat
reluctantly in their 70s and 80s.
had support from Arts Tasmania with the services of a roving curator from the
Tasmanian Community Fund with a grant for archival equipment and from the Tamar
Valley Wine Route, which then funded the addition of a gallery to its web page.
Although at this stage the project is a digital record, it is hoped that it may
one day lead to a physical museum. I am
sure that, like the Boags Museum, it will be quite an attraction for tourists.
wine industry can be said to have started way back in 1864, with an article in
the Mercury newspaper by William Henty pointing out that Tasmania had a
superior climate to Burgundy and Bordeaux. However, even with a recommendation like that
it was still a shaky start to the wine industry in Tasmania and it petered out
in the 1900s.
In 1956, a
Frenchman by the name of Jean Miguet planted the La Provence Vineyard at Lalla
in northern Tasmania and then the modern era of winemaking in Tasmania began. Initial plantings were from cuttings that were
smuggled in from France. Miguet corresponded with leading Australian wine
figures of the day as he sought to import properly certified cuttings from the
mainland to establish his commercial vineyard. Miguet also fought a very long and
unsuccessful battle with Tasmanian authorities to sell his wines direct to the
public. It seems unusual, does it not,
to have to fight that sort of battle?
was given further stimulus in the early 1970s when Andrew Pirie moved to
Tasmania to set up the Pipers Brook Vineyard and the rest is history, Mr
President, and of course it is now ongoing.
I would like
to talk about the rest of this year's awards before I give the address for that
website for people to accessE:
award for Service from an Outside Organisation went to Launceston's Pinot Shop.
Best Wine List went to Davies Grand Central.
award for Service from the Cellar or Vineyard Worker was won by John Latchford
of Moores Hill
life members were: Roderick Cuthbert, Mary Dufour and Mike Sharman.
that I have just mentioned with their life awards are pioneers of the modern
wine industry. Mike Sharman makes one of
the nicest Rieslings in Tasmania. It is
on the southern outskirts of Launceston. A dozen mixed wines from Rod and
Mary's Iron Pot Bay is always a special gift.
wine industry continues to grow and the quality of our wines continues to
improve, Tasmania is close to becoming the Pinot Noir capital of the Southern
Hemisphere, as predicted by Ross Brown of Brown Brothers when he moved into the
Tasmanian industry a few years ago. It
would not be the end of the world, Mr President, if I could only drink Pinot
Noir every second year. Fortunately our industry continues to grow grape
varieties which are of great variance and we in Tasmania cultivate them so
project, Mr President, can be accessed by going to the Tamar Valley Wine Route
website and accessing the Heritage Gallery, www.tamarvalleywineroute.com.au