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How is the industry coping? We asked Wine Tasmania CEO Sheralee Davies.

How is the industry coping? We asked Wine Tasmania CEO Sheralee Davies.

A generation ago, experts said Tasmanian wine could never compete. The climate wasn’t right. The grapes, and the winemakers, would have to work too hard.

We can taste the result of that hard work in every bottle of Tasmanian wine. Even though we can’t spend and afternoon at cellar doors, we can still buy and drink our favourite bottle or take this moment to try something new.

How is the industry coping? We asked 
Wine Tasmania CEO Sheralee Davies.

Tassie’s wine producers are a pretty agile, pragmatic, resilient and good-humoured bunch of people. They have to be really, given mother nature has the biggest say on their livelihood, and every season is different to the last. Tasmania is the right place in the world to craft some of the best wines, in terms of climate, soil, rainfall and location. It’s not easy and takes a certain kind of person, but it’s worth it to get the intensity and structure of wines only Tasmania can produce. 

This season was already one of the tougher ones, much cooler than usual and the coolest season in a very long time, windy weather, lower yields, lots of nervous waiting for different grape varieties to slowly ripen. Then there was a pandemic. Tassie’s wine producers just got on with vintage activities, thankful they could continue to harvest and process grapes, particularly given the devastating impact on so many others.

Like others, Tasmanian wine producers have been hit hard by the cessation of tourism and closures of restaurants and wine bars, meaning limited or no wines sales or income through these two major channels. Some of our greatest supporters are those in wine distribution, restaurants and bars, so we’re feeling for them as well. 

Finding ways to try and keep businesses afloat and support each other in these uncertain times is really important. There are so many examples of Tasmanian wine lovers supporting their favourite producers – responding to promotional campaigns, buying more or more expensive wine than they usually would, sending messages of support and hope.  Here is a list of cellar doors still open, as well as links for people to buy wine online from producers here. To make it as easy as possible, we’ve also launched our first e-commerce site. There are challenges ahead, but there’s also amazing collaboration, generosity and support. We all feel very fortunate to be on our island at this time and to be Tasmanian.

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