Leven Valley Vineyard
321 Raymond Road, Gunns Plain, TAS
Nestled within the rich agricultural lands of the fertile Gunns Plains, Leven Valley Vineyard is a gem of viticultural excellence, home to a collection of boutique cool-climate wines that present the region’s unique qualities. With panoramic views and a gallery of local artworks, it’s the perfect spot to soak up the afternoon sun and serenity with a glass of North West Tasmania’s best.
The vineyard dates back to 1997, with the first commercial vintage produced in 2001. Shortly after, the Cellar Door and gardens opened, transforming Leven Valley Vineyard into a popular local destination. Since 2013, the vineyard has been in the dedicated hands of Mike and Wendy Dontschuk, who showcase a growing list of award-winning estate wines produced from their special terroir. With Wendy’s viticultural background and Mike’s corporate finance experience combined, they set out to renew and refresh the property for travelling winelovers and locals.
Overlooking the picturesque Gunns Plains, set in the Dial Range and Leven River reserve, Leven Valley Vineyard is surrounded by iconic natural landmarks such as the Leven Canyon, Gunns Plains Caves and Preston Falls. The Cellar Door, open Wednesday to Sunday in the warmer months, provides a rustic venue to relax and rejuvenate in. The scenic picnic grounds set the scene for an afternoon of exploring what the beautiful region has to offer. With plenty of things to do, from sightseeing and bush walking to trout fishing, and easy access from surrounding coastal towns and ferries, stopping by is must for any traveller.
Leven Valley wines are produced by a local winemaker, who works with Mike and Wendy to ensure there is as little chemical contact as possible. The pinot noir and chardonnay grapes are grown on vertical canopies, with cane pruning and no irrigation. Mike and Wendy strongly believe in producing high quality grapes, as opposed to a high quantity. Therefore, they implement a meticulous and hand-managed approach to their harvest, allowing the true expression of the terroir with each vintage.
You can explore the nuances of the varieties at the Cellar Door, where the full Leven Valley list is on offer. The 2014 Pinot Noir is their current flagship, having won bronze at the 2016 Royal Hobart International Wine Show. It pairs perfectly with the array of local delicatessen products on offer, each of which brings out the complexity and distinctive tones of the grape.
With a menu full of devilishly tempting options, from home-grown cherry tomatoes and Mediterranean terrine to local double brie and smoked quail, it’s no wonder a trip to the vineyard has become a must. While looking past a cheese and charcuterie platter is a tough task, Mike and Wendy also welcome guests with their own picnics, meaning you can enjoy a bottle of Leven Valley’s finest with a delicious lunch spread.
Quality remains at the forefront of Leven Valley Vineyard, with Mike and Wendy working incredibly hard to present the distinctive qualities of their region. With such a bounty of natural wonders at your fingertips, there’s no excuse not to visit.