Just a 40-minute drive north-east of Launceston, Tasmania and you will hit Clover Hill: one of Australia’s premium sparkling houses situated on the renowned Tamar Valley Wine route.
A region synonymous for its premium bubbles – some of the best in the country, in fact – Clover Hill is a purveyor of the trending sparkling variety – and for good reason.
The winding route from Launceston to Lebrina is idyllic in every sense of the word. Where lush greenery unfolds before your very eyes, the region seems somewhat untouched.
On arrival to the winery, eye-catching weathered steel and rammed earth walls come into view: that’s its brand-spanking new cellar door.
Setting the bar well above neighbouring wineries of similar ilk, Clover Hill is all but ordinary. As you reach the cellar door, a swift breeze from neighbouring Bass Strait hits you. Look out to the distance, and you might just see Flinders Island. But it’s the rows and rows of vineyard that is the real showstopper; you’re in wine country now.
Joined by CEO for Clover Hill Adam Torpy, and chief winemaker Rob Heywood, we explore the intricacies of making vintage sparkling wine, as well as an exciting new accommodation experience available later this year for all visiting the estate.
Clover Hill vineyard
Since 1986, Clover Hill has established itself as one of Australia’s principal makers of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier Cuvées.
Encapsulating the region’s natural beauty, Clover Hill is set on a 66-hectare Pipers River property that lends itself to rich soil, a natural sloping amphitheatre (which is a spectacular 110 metre drop from top to bottom), a cool climate and a phenomenal views of Bass Strait.
It’s these factors that allow Clover Hill to produce world-class sparkling wine that rivals that of the Champagne region.
Producing sparkling wine in the Méthode Traditionnelle, varieties created blend that of the Champagne region – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier – whilst adding a distinguishable Tasmanian twist that is appreciated globally.
“Clover Hill is based on a specific site in a specific region that allows us to plant Champagne varieties. The best sparkling comes from this region because of the acidity and the right soil composition to complement that,” explains Adam Torpy, CEO of Clover Hill.
“The vision from the start was to create a sparkling-dedicated vineyard and we’ve done that. Now, we have creating a house-style that is renowned and appreciated all over the country.”
Since the success of its first vintage in ’91, Clover Hill has gone on to win a number of accolades, gaining a reputation in the process for uncompromising quality, elegance and finesse – the trinity which forms its distinguished Tasmanian style.
And at the helm of all vinicultural operations is chief winemaker Rob Heywood. With a wealth of professional experience that has seen him work in the Barossa Valley to Bordeaux’s St Emillon, Heywood saw out a portfolio of award-winning wines in 2018, winning an unprecedented 28 gold medals and 9 trophies in various wine shows.
Since opening the cellar door in December 2017 – an 18-month project in the making – visitation to the Clover Hill cellar door has grown exponentially.
Offering breathtaking views from all positions, the cellar door at Clover Hill is an optic – and sensual – experience for all to enjoy.
“There’s a huge movement in the Australian industry at the moment with regard to landscape integration and impactful designs that reflect a winery’s uniqueness, and at Clover Hill, we can safely say you’ll see no other cellar door like this,” says Torpy.
The cellar door – which was listed as one of Gourmet Traveller’s Star Cellar Doors in the country in 2018 – isn’t just known for its sparkling, but for its food pairing options, also.
Grazing and shared menus are curated by head chef Tania White, using seasonal and local produce to create dishes such as cauliflower blue cheese gougeres with walnut crumb, or pork cabbage rolls with pickled plum and chorizo crumb.
Glamping under the stars
Capping off the ultimate winery experience, Clover Hill will launch an exclusive, bespoke onsite glamping experience in partnership with Tasmanian Glamping Co.
For those who haven’t glamped before, there’s nothing like it. Sleep under the stars on a queen-size bed, layered with warm blankets and cushions, slippers laid out by your bed, with Aesop amenities to provide that extra bit of comfort.
Torpy says the ability for guests to stay onsite was a natural extension in the tourism and hospitality offering at Clover Hill.
“Our unique location has organically tapped into the growing number of tourists to the Tamar Valley Wine Trail and North East Tasmania.”
“With that, we want to keep tourists in the region to experience all that Clover Hill and the surrounding wineries have to offer. Our luxury glamping experience is truly unique and encapsulates all that Clover Hill has to offer.”
The glamping experience will be offered over the Effervescence Festival weekend in November – an event to celebrate everything champagne – Australia Day long weekend, and throughout late 2019 to early 2020.
Glamping packages start from $600 per night twin share or $650 twin share including breakfast.
For more information on the winery and glamping packages, head to the website HERE