May 06, 2016 by FIONA JOY
Tasmania’s reputation for local, sustainable produce makes it an increasingly popular destination for those wanting an authentic food and wine travel experience, and the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail is a great place to start. Strictly speaking, it’s not a trail as such – well, not one with signposts. It’s a virtual collection of North West Tasmania’s best boutique and artisanal producers. You can choose to follow one of these three prescribed routes (there are six to chose from, otherwise): from Cradle Mountain to Tarkine; Devonport and surrounds; or “the ultimate foodie’s day out” through the countryside, beginning and ending in Launceston. Or you can create a bespoke tour according to your location and predilections. Here’s what not to miss…
SEE ALSO: The Foodie's Guide to Hobart
Watch cheese makers in action at Ashgrove Cheese in Elizabeth Town at the heart of Tasmania’s dairy country. Better yet, sample a selection of cheese, fresh farm milk and homemade ice cream before you buy.
Wander around 41º South Tasmania salmon and ginseng farm at your leisure, where you can watch the fish feeding and get an understanding of sustainable farming practices. Free tastings and light lunches are available here.
Drop in at Cradle Coast Olives and savour the flavours of artisanal extra virgin olive oil. Wander through the landscaped groves and visit the pressing room (active in winter) before buying at the cellar door.
The Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm features lush gardens with views over the raspberry canes beyond. In the café and shop you can buy sauces, jams, chocolates and even lip balms.
With a chocolate history museum, a chocolate café and a viewing gallery where you can watch expert couverture in action, the House of Anvers chocolate factory is a truly sweet experience.
Seven Sheds Brewery is a hop garden and microbrewery in Railton, where you can enjoy a glass of Willie Warmer dark ale, Razzamatazz (raspberry-infused wheat beer) or Smokin’ Bagpipes (peat-smoked Scotch ale), among others.
In a quaint cottage setting in Burnie, the boutique roasteryInfuse Coffee Roasters offers a relaxing ambience for you to sit back and savour the range of single origins and award winning blends. Takeaways welcome.
At Hellyers Road Distillery, one of Australia’s best boutique whisky brands, you can get right among the casks and learn about the whisky-making process on the “Whisky Walk”. And, okay, you can also taste some whisky…
Blue Penguin Wines is a tiny, hilltop winery overlooking the seaside town of Penguin. Made from hand-picked Tassie grapes, the signature cold-climate shiraz is one (of many) to try at the cellar door.
Watch the bottling process and taste the ciders (four apple and one pear) at the Spreyton Cider Co cellar door. Cheese platters are on offer for those who need to keep a clear head.
Quamby Estate is a restored country manor with a fascinating history that dates back to the 1830s. Each of the 10 luxurious guestrooms is furnished in its own style from the eclectic art and furniture collection. There’s a restaurant, bar, library and nine-hole golf course on-site.
Accommodation at Tall Timbers in Smithton ranges from hotel rooms to standalone lakeside apartments, set out to take full advantage of the stunning rural views. There are two restaurants, two bars, a spa pool and gym.
Ready for breakfast? The café at The Cherry Shed in Latrobe serves a “Big Shed” traditional Aussie breakfast starring a pork and cherry sausage. For the sweet tooth, try pancakes topped with homemade cherry ice cream and cherry compote.
The lunch menu at Delish Fine Foods is overseen by a master cheese maker but there’s more than cheddar on offer. Try a quiche or potted pie of the day; or choose from a range of paninis and gourmet burgers. There’s also a great kids’ menu (yes, with a cheese plate).
The Grey Gum Restaurant at Cradle Mountain Hotel will fulfil fine-dining aspirations with its seasonal, modern menu of local produce and wines. The famous Tasting Plates are served on hot stone and feature seafood, lamb, beef and wallaby.
Pictured at top: 1 Cradle Mountain, 2 Ashgrove Cheese, 341º South Tasmania, 4 Penguin Beachfront