Something interesting is happening with the way we’re starting to discuss Tasmania as it relates to wine. “The sceptics would say Tasmania is all one GI, but it’s very easy to refute that when you see the wines coming out of all the different regions,” says winemaker Peter “Dredgey” Dredge. As he refers to it, GI stands for Geographical Indicator, a fancy (and legal) way of describing where a wine is made. Discussions around GIs often take place over time when the broader wine narrative of place pushes against the nuance of a sub-region. We’ve seen a similar push-pull tension when talking about GIs in Central Otago in New Zealand’s South Island. Similarly, winemakers have the option of labelling wines under the umbrella of one static region or a specific sub-region.
Connew and Dredge agree that wines from the south have an almost “ethereal” quality. Connew describes it as “an intensity of flavour still with a light touch”, this is compared with wines from the east which are “slightly more muscular and have incredible savoury and graphite-like tannins”.
“We should absolutely be championing the sub-regionality of Tasmania, but we don’t need to have registered GIs to be able to talk about the nuances of these sites,” she says. “I want people to understand we’re not one homogenous blob but we’ve only got 200 hectares of vines in the ground; what’s the point of splitting everyone up and drawing up boundaries?”