A trip to a regional cellar door to sip wine and eat local produce while looking out over rolling hills is a pretty good way to escape city life. But finding a designated driver for a day at a winery isn’t always easy – which is why overnight accommodation is often a more attractive option.
Clover Hill, a winery in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley specialising in sparking wines, opened its $2 million cellar door and tasting rooms in late 2017, and now joins the ranks of other venues around the country – from wineries and eco-resorts to bush retreats – adding overnight glamping options for visitors.
“The building and the site are so spectacular, it’s just another way of introducing customers to the brand, the location, and to experience such a spectacular spot,” cellar door manager Ian White says.
Tasmanian Glamping Co looks after the logistics, pitching 10 two-person canvas bell tents a few metres from the winery cellar door. A minimum two-night stay costs $700, which includes a queen-sized bed with an electric blanket, a reading lamp, slippers, Aesop toiletries and an electrical outlet for phones and laptops.
If you wake up early enough before a long day of wine tasting, you can unzip the front entrance to your tent, jump back into bed and watch the sun rise over the vines – on a clear day you can see all the way to the Bass Strait.
The next available bookings are for the January long weekend – the 25th and 26th – and include add-on options such as breakfast among the vines ($50 per person), a regional food and wine tour ($80 per person), and a barbeque dinner with matched wines ($65 per person). There’s also a special dinner at the cellar door, a neo-modern building made from rammed local volcanic soil that isn’t usual open for dining.
“It basically opens up with a 180-degree panoramic view towards Bass Strait to the north-east,” says White of the building. “The idea is to be perched on top of the hill looking over the vineyard, giving you a real sense of place.”
The dinner includes six courses matched to Clover Hill’s sparkling wines, and is prepared by chef Tanya White, whose dishes include a number of pickled and preserved elements, giving each plate a broad range of textural variation.
“Tanya’s menus are designed with very seasonal and very locally sourced produce,” says White. “There’s a lot of curing, smoking and fermenting – to extend the life of the products that we grow here on the property – and then we also use some local farmers.”
Clover Hill is a 40-minute drive north-east of Launceston. Glamping packages are currently available for January 25 and 26, and more dates will be added soon.