Wine bottles and leaning churches. There’s something serendipitous about that partnership!
“Mind blowing! Like your first morning glory – or a squirrel grip after a vasectomy!”
Visitors to Tasmania’s north will no doubt spend some time touring the world famous Tamar Valley Wine Route, but I’d hazard a guess that most take the easy option and spend their time focusing on the west bank. And why not? There are plenty of quality vineyards, the odd cafe or two and a lovely riverside setting to keep you occupied for a full day.
“The Dolly Parton of Chardonnays – perfectly curved, bold melons, soft and creamy in the mouth. Powerful undertones and a little nutty – guaranteed to age gracefully!”
Less travelled is the eastern half of the wine route, longer in length and covering the Pipers River region in the far north, but then winding down through the verdant green hills of Lilydale on its return to Launceston. Pipers Brook, Jansz and Clover Hill will be wineries well known to many (particularly bubble lovers!), however tiny little Leaning Church Vineyard is one of those hidden little oddities that not only produce a good drop of wine, but also provide said wine in a unique environment you won’t easily forget!
“Best enjoyed nude in front of a log fire with chocolate and cheese…”
Purists may glance askance at the MA15+ cellar door descriptions of their wine range, but to me it’s simply a natural extension of the laid back, unassuming approach that owners Sarah and Mark have brought to their new venture in the sleepy little township of Lalla. You can taste all the premium wines in the world, swilling/savouring/spitting whatever your style may be, but nothing beats kicking back in the sun with your favourite person in the world and a bottle of chilled white between you!
While wine there is aplenty, food is scarce on the ground, so don’t turn up expecting lunch options. Instead, they do offer a generously sized platter of cheese, fruit and nuts to accompany your beverage of choice. Keep in mind though that on Sundays you do have the opportunity to purchase an eye fillet that you can cook yourself on their BBQ!
If wine and cheese isn’t enough, the gardens are also gorgeous, providing a number of benches and nooks in which to pause and take in the stunning scenery across the vines, lavender flowers and rolling meadows of the surrounding countryside, glass in hand.
“Startling! Like dipping your private bits in icy water!”
Central to the experience is the leaning church itself (notice the lean in the photo below!). Simple timber finish with traditional yet minimalist lines, it can be booked for the ideal romantic wedding, with the gardens outside offering the perfect backdrop to both the service and reception!
If you’re contemplating a tour of the Tamar Valley, turn right at Albuquerque instead of left, and make Leaning Church Vineyard the first venue of your day in the Tasmanian sun!
I haven’t covered everything that these guys offer, so for more info drop by their fantastic website here: Leaning Church Vineyard
They’re also quite active on Facebook over here: Leaning Church on Facebook
To find out more regarding the Tamar Valley Wine Route, including a great map with all the wineries worth visiting, check out the official website: Tamar Valley Wine Route