Unavale wines represent the true essence of life on Flinders Island. They bring together people, purpose and the almighty presence of the Island. Bev and Roger Watson feel very fortunate that their labour of love allows them to live such a life.
Unavale Vineyard set its roots down 18 years ago when Roger the Viticulturist and Winemaker took a gamble with some grape cuttings. The cuttings perished, as did the small plot that followed, yet Roger was far from defeated. A steep learning curve, persistence and acquired knowledge helped establish 7 acres of vines that now produce between 5,000L and 20,000L of wine a year. Their 5 grape varieties are found on the southern end of the island nestled on the banks of the Samphire River and framed by the majestic Strzelecki Ranges. This unique microclimate creates the perfect growing ‘terrior’.
Bev and Roger’s approach is a holistic one with huge importance placed on the grapes’ foundation. Resident guinea fowl roam the vines munching on natural pests, while rich organic mulch replenishes the soils nutrients and retains its moisture, it is these foundations that contribute to their high quality yield.
The Flinders Island community pay a vital role in the production of each bottle. Yearly pruning, harvesting and bottling are a combined effort and one that everyone takes pride in. The annual ‘Music in the Vines’ festival is a chance for the whole island to celebrate, dance and be merry.
A visit to the Furneaux Tavern allows you to sample your way through 7 different Unavale wines. The Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are well suited to the Tasmanian climate and are both all time favourites to those near and far. The good news for those afar is the online store, it makes having Flinders Island in a bottle shipped to your doorstep a breeze. Cheers to that.