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The region | Tamar Valley, Tasmania

With a focus on local produce and sustainable resource management, Tasmania has rapidly become the darling of Australia's food-and-wine scene, and all we can say is it's about time. Actually, we can say a little more than that. Like, did you know that in 2012, Tasmania was named as one of the top two wine investment locations in the world by a big-shot European wine publication? And given the way that the decade that followed has panned out, it looks like they were right on the money.

Putting your eggs in one basket may be frowned upon, but if we had to, we'd be confident backing Tasmania's Tamar Valley region. Located just north of Launceston, the Tamar is best known for its pinot noir, chardonnay and sparkling, though there's been plenty of success with all kinds of aromatic whites as well as syrah, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. It's also considered one of the world's best wine routes to travel thanks to its jaw-dropping scenery, minimal traffic and, of course, the world-class wines. 

The Tamar Valley has proven to be the perfect spot for growing grapes because of its cool climate and long, dry autumns. These conditions allow for a long and steady ripening period, with the River Tamar helping to regulate temperatures by reflecting sunlight and releasing stored heat during those cold Tasmanian nights. The result? Grapes with full fruit flavours and near-magical levels of acidity, which means world-class wines for people like us – how good.

2020 Pikes 'The Hill Block' Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

The wine

Whoa – can you believe it? Our first wine and it's the '19 Auburn Road Pinot Noir from Handpicked Wines, an absolute gem hailing from the Tamar Valley. An exciting and constantly evolving region, the Tamar is known for its world-class pinots, and given our first bottle also happens to be Handpicked's first vintage from the Auburn Road vineyard, we like to think that this was meant to be.

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The region

With a focus on local produce and sustainable resource management, Tasmania has rapidly become the darling of Australia's food-and-wine scene, and all we can say is it's about time. Actually, we can say a little more than that. Like, did you know that in 2012, Tasmania was named as one of the top two wine investment locations in the world by a big-shot European wine publication? And given the way that the decade that followed has panned out, it looks like they were right on the money.

Read more

The recipe

Got pinot? Then you'll need some duck, asap. Here's one of our favourite recipes from our mate Chef Dave: fresh farfalle with a rich duck ragu.

Full recipe here
The playlist

It's simple, really. All you need to do is pour a glass of pinot noir, prep your duck ragu and pop this playlist on in the background. Silky smooth with a touch of spice, these tracks will have you begging for a break in conversation and bailing mid-dinner for a kitchen boogie – "Hey Google, put playlist on repeat."

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