One of the most significant new wine tourism experiences in Tasmania will make its official debut next weekend.
The Arnold family, quiet achievers with their excellent Ghost Rock wines, recently unveiled their Hundred Acres wine and food interpretation centre at Northdown, just outside Port Sorell.
It is adjacent to their brand-new winery, the first commercial facility on the north-west coast of the island state.
The $1 million venture centre is designed to host cooking workshops that will be matched with the vineyard's wines, as well as wine masterclasses.
Guests from Josef Chromy, where the Ghost Rock wines have previously been vinified, Barringwood, Blue Penguin and Seven Sheds Brewery were among those in attendance at the opening ceremony a couple of weeks ago.
Ghost Rock owners Cate and Colin Arnold have been joined by their son Justin Arnold, who will be making the wines from now on, while his partner Alicia Peardon (who used to work with Jamie Oliver) will oversee the running of the new centre, along with Ghost Rock head chef Phil Piper.
The Arnold family planted the first vines at Ghost Rock in 1985 and they now have 15 hectares with another five soon to come on line. The first wines were made on site this year with input from consultant Natalie Fryar, previously of Jansz.
“I'm a printer who had a dream that came true,” said Colin Arnold at the glitzy launch. “There used to be just a rickety house on a hill here with a few horses running around. This is real thrill.”
All the work was done in 12 months. “At this time last year this was a paddock,” said Cate Arnold.
The Arnolds are calling their new offering a "soil-to-bottle and paddock-to-plate" experience. While a proposed partnership with chef Ben Milbourne fell through, there will be guest chefs hosting classes during the year, including Ian Curley from The European in Melbourne.
The new facilities complement the already very popular Ghost Rock cellar door, which is open all year Wednesday-Sunday and public holidays and daily in January and February.
Hundred Acres at Ghost Rock, 1055 Port Sorell Road, Northdown. (03) 6428 4005. www.hundredacres.com.au. www.ghostrock.com.au.