Is this Tassie wine region better than France's Champagne?

The Tamar Valley in Tasmania is the world’s second-best sparkling wine region, but as far as wine tasting holidays go, it may just push France’s Champagne region off its hoity-toity perch. Here’s why.

It’s local
Firstly – and most obviously – you can get there. Due to COVID-related technicalities, France has been temporarily eliminated from the competition. On the other hand, however, Tourism Australia is eagerly encouraging Aussies to splurge on domestic trips, putting tourist dollars back where we need them the most.   

It’s good
Secondly, the Tamar Valley is good, like, really good. It’s climate, latitude and unique agricultural conditions mean that the north-eastern corner of the valley produces the second-best sparkling wine in the world. It’s best known for its pinot noir and cool climate chardonnay.

Read more: Ultimate Winery Experiences

It’s – relatively – quiet
Despite the beauty of the Tamar Valley and the world-renowned status of its wines, the region is relatively under explored by tourists. Each year 250,000 of France’s 10 million tourists flock to the Champagne region. It’s crowded, unspontaneous and you’ve probably seen most of the stunning views and streets on Instagram a hundred times over. Tasmania, on the other hand, only receives around 650,000 tourists each year, and only some of these travellers head up to the Tamar Valley.

It’s family owned
Most of the wineries in the Tamar Valley are still family owned. Instead of meeting staff, you’ll be meeting the owners, people who have committed their lives to the region and have stories and passion to share.

Read more: Where to go to experience the best in Australian wine

It’s spontaneous, like you
Don’t like planning in advance? This is the wine region for you. Simply rock up when the valley’s more than 30 tasting rooms are open and taste till your heart’s content. This is so unlike Champagne, where you have to book expensive and rigid tours well in advance. If no-one wants to volunteer to be designated driver for the day, wine tasting tour companies such as Prestige Leisure Tours can do the driving and the organising for you.

It’s fancy, we promise
Just because the Tamar Valley is an affordable and accessible alternative to the Champagne region, doesn’t mean it won’t be the oh-so-fancy wine tasting experience you’ve always dreamed of. Wines from the legendary Pipers Brook Vineyard and Clover Hill have been drunk by royalty and have even been tasted at royal weddings.

Have you been to the Tamar Valley or France’s Champagne region? How do the two compare? Would you consider a trip to the world’s second-best wine region? 

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Written by Liv Gardiner