We knew we’d be in good hands when we went to VIN Diemen. Presented by Wine Tasmania, VIN Diemen is a one-day festival celebrating the wine, beauty, culture and produce of the Gourmet Isle. (That’s Tasmania, aka Van Diemen, in case you didn’t figure out their clever pun.)
Held at the Cell Block Theatre in Darlinghurst, over 115 wines were on offer for tastings. There are four official wine trails in Tasmania, and punters could ‘visit’ all of them. From the North West to the Tamar Valley near Launceston, the Great Eastern Wine Drive to the Southern Wine Trail, they grow wine nearly everywhere on the island.
And what an island it is. I’ve personally visited Tassie over a dozen times — a fact I loved pointing out to each and every winemaker, as I then contrasted it with my Sydneysider +1. Her visits to Tassie: 0. (Of course, being a foreigner, I’ve explored more of Australia than my own homeland – go fig.)
The Plus Ones have been covering the events put on by REVEL (formerly Bottle Shop Concepts) for almost half a decade. From Game of Rhones to Gauchito Gil’s Malbec Day, Pinot Palooza to Sake Matsuri, the team at REVEL bring some of the best events in Australia to life. So when we found out they were partnered with Vin Dieman, we knew we’d be in for a treat.
What I loved about Vin Diemen was how intimate the setup was. While wine aficionados could spruik for VIP tickets that allowed them early access, even in the midst of the hustle and bustle, we never had to wait for a tasting. Every winemaker was more than happy to have a chat, and it never felt rushed.
One of the highlights of the day was our very first (non-wine) stop: Bruny Island Cheese Co. I’ve long been a fan of founder Nick Haddow from my first intro to him on SBS’s show The Gourmet Farmer, and I’ve visited the cheesery in person on multiple occasions. #humblebrag Pairing their beer with their cheese is a must-do — along with seizing the opportunity, as I did, of bringing a few of their cheeses home.
The wines were, of course, the main attraction. With so many on offer, it was hard to know where to start. Luckily, Tassie is known for its bubbles — and boy, do they know their effervescence. A special mention goes to Bream Creek, which was recommended by multiple wine-lovers and didn’t disappoint. We loved meeting winemaker Nick Glaetzer and hearing his story about the Glaetzer-Dixon Family Wines and their urban winery in Hobart. By far the coolest story of a wine label itself came from the team at Wellington & Wolfe — and their Rieslings were hard to beat.
When we wanted a breath of fresh air, outside we went to the leafy courtyard — where, incidentally, more delicious food awaited us. A longterm gnocchi skeptic, I was convinced by the staff at Studio Neon to give theirs a try — and am now a convert (as long as all gnocchi in my future is as fluffy as their homemade versions). Similarly, the truffle and cheese toastie from Vineyard Seafood Restaurant was just as good as the other festival-goers told us it’d be.
VIN Diemen is a magnificent afternoon for a wine novice or aficionado alike; someone who’s been to Tasmania or is only contemplating their first visit. It showcases the wonders of our island state’s vinoculture — and is just a damn fun time. Make sure you attend the next VIN Diemen when it again visits our shores.
Co-founder of The Plus Ones, Theresa’s new goal is to attend every single one of REVEL’s events.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Dig + Fish.
Image credit: VIN Diemen.