NEW RELEASES: *2022 Sasso Pinot Noir & 2022 Collina Chardonnay*

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Our stories

We love to notice and mark the changing of seasons, the sighting of a new birds' nest, or our unceasing wonder at the seamless enrichment that biodynamic viticulture provides our pristine environment. Working in rhythm with nature ensures we are vigilant in the vineyard, and follow that attention to detail through to the winery and the table. As fifth and sixth generation winegrowers, we value family, tradition and progression, and we hope our stories strike a chord with you – hopefully so much that we're lucky enough to one day hear yours.


Steve and Monique Lubiana.

Monique Lubiana
24 November 2022 | Monique Lubiana

Stefano Lubiana Riesling taking it to the next level

Steve fell in love with Rieslings during his travels post winemaking degree in 1985.  On route to Europe via Asia Steve met, Reiner, a gentle German giant.  Their Asian leg came to an end with Reiner traveling back to Germany and Steve taking up his internship in France.   After vintage Steve made his way to Reiner’s hometown of Zell a hamlet of Moselle located in Germany’s Rhine Valley.  Reiner, a man with a very generous soul took the time to show Steve the very top producers of Riesling throughout the valley.  An experience Steve has never forgotten to this day.  This is where the inspiration came from for the planting of Riesling at our Granton Vineyard.

Riesling comes in many styles, it can be sparkling, dry, off-dry, sweet, and sometimes it’s left on the vine to decay and transformed into what Australian’s call stickies the formal name being Noble rot wines.

In the past, we have made a slightly effervescent Riesling but generally, our preferred style is off-dry.  Depending on the year the residual sugar can range from 12 to 6 grams.

Residual sugar happens when we stop the wine fermenting with a sulphur addition before the wine reaches dryness.  The reason residual sugar is retained is to balance out high acid.

Riesling is naturally high in acid and even higher when grown in a cool climate like Tasmania.  In the past, we have left a higher residual sugar in the wine so that the wine is more balanced earlier in the wine’s drinking window. 

Recently we expanded our winemaking repertoire to include barrel-fermented and oak maturing of our Riesling.  This tool is used for the same reason the residual sugar element is used.  Fermenting Riesling in oak and maturing in oak softens its shape taking off the angle edges.  Less residual sugar is needed to balance the wine and the wine is more approachable earlier.

Austrian oak use is this wine’s point of difference and it creates wines that have middle body and texture without sacrificing the beautiful explosive aromas of orange blossom, musk, and chalky talcs.  In the past, we have aged Riesling in our cellar for a year or more to temper the racy, high-tingly acids.  The other benefit of employing tightly grained oak is it adds some very soft tannins to the finish of the wine and this marries well with creamy dishes or oily fish and crustaceans and the many choices of soft hand-crafted cheeses.  

Time Posted: 24/11/2022 at 9:37 AM Permalink to Stefano Lubiana Riesling taking it to the next level Permalink
Monique Lubiana
20 November 2022 | Monique Lubiana

New Aromatic Whites

We are excited to release our new Aromatic wines.

2022 Pinot Gris
2022 Sauvignon Blanc
2021 Riesling click here for our Riesling blog.

The Sauvignon Blanc and the Pinot Gris have been sold out for some months, almost having a cult following.  The Riesling is also selling out faster as more customers gravitate to unmatched and rare, biodynamic Riesling.

Reflecting on the 2022 growing season it was mild with lots of spring rains, a luxury our warm soils do not always receive.  The mild and long season gave the vines abundant time to accumulate flavour and grace, resulting in wines with highly perfumed aromatics, opulent layers of summer fruit flavour, soft juicy texture, and elegant soft finishes with a tiny tannin grip to compliment any dish.

Our aromatic wines are made with the same care and traditional methods used by the best French & German winemakers.  Tasmania has a very similar climate to Europe and through Steve’s heritage and his many travels and work experiences in France, Italy and Germany he has mastered the nuances of aromatic winemaking.

Precision, balance, and clarity in our wines are the results of A-grade viticulture, the wisdom of biodynamics and its capacity to harness the life force of our terroir and the cosmos, our winemaking experience, and intuition as well as the use of tight-grained Austrian founders and their capacity to deliver the perfect ratio of lees contact. Light use of sulphur at the perfect bottling window ensures quality and drinkability is retained.

Time Posted: 20/11/2022 at 10:58 AM Permalink to New Aromatic Whites Permalink
Monique Lubiana
3 November 2022 | Monique Lubiana

Seriously Good Chardonnay

Seriously good future Chardonnay

As mentioned in my last blog we are in the process of planting a special little vineyard at Blacksnake Road, Granton.  Overlooking the stunning Derwent River, this new vineyard, as the crow flies, is located two kilometres south of our mother-vineyard at Rowbottoms Road Granton.

The plot is 4ha in total, nestled in amongst 1ha of rural living properties. It was purchased in 2021, chosen for its soil type, elevation and aspect but, most importantly, for its suitability to grow Chardonnay.

The soil, or terroir, is black clay over a mealy chalky base.  The site slopes to the North and is on a 15 degrees gradient at 120 metres above sea level.  The soil type is typically heavier than that of our mother vineyard’s, so increased density will benefit balance.

High-density plantings grow vines that have higher leaf to fruit ratio than normal vineyards. The root system is pushed deeper rather than wider and shoots grow higher to exploit the sunshine. The ultimate outcome is fruit with greater depth and concentration of flavour.

Our Blacksnake Road vineyard has a vine density is 6173/ha, 1.8 metre rows and by 0.9 metres between the vines.  This new vineyard will have 28% more vines than our existing chardonnay blocks.  The clones are a selection of 95, Penfolds and Gin Gin.  At our home vineyard we have been growing these clones for decades, and they are the star performers amongst their cohorts.

Paul Sloan of Small Vines Wines Ca USA says it best in this YouTube video:-

Paul’s vineyard is planted in a warmer region than our properties.  However in this YouTube clip he discusses new world viticulture versus old world, and the impact spacing (vine density) has on sugar and acid accumulation at a lower alcohol.

Elegance, drinkability and complexity are highly prized in chardonnay wines.  Not always easy to achieve.  Low yields, a truly cool climate, chalky soils and modern vineyard equipment are amongst some of the most important elements in generating success.  After 30 years of experience and proven research and development we are determined to plant the ultimate chardonnay vineyard.  This is where tried clones, site selection and vineyard setup ensures the future outcome of our new Chardonnay vineyard will be very exciting.

Time Posted: 03/11/2022 at 2:34 PM Permalink to Seriously Good Chardonnay Permalink
Monique Lubiana
17 September 2022 | Monique Lubiana

2021 Estate Chardonnay biodynamic new release!

The 2021 growing season was very cool yet mild as there were very few days above 30 degrees and the mornings were mostly still and crisp.  The days were typically sunny, with the occasional light cloud cover.   We were lucky to avoid rain at harvest and the low-yielding fruit came in on time in pristine condition. 

The tingling, cooling sea breeze arrived every afternoon racing up the valley where it tempered the afternoon’s westerly warmth.  To produce Chardonnay with fineness it is crucial for the daytime temperature to drop to retain the natural acid.

Our little vineyard faces north, planted on gravelly soils at 100 meters elevation. The site overlooks the eastern bank of the spectacular Derwent River.  Here our vines flourish with the ebbs and flows of the tidal influence and the seasonal patterns. Vineyard management is our focus.  We hustle daily to keep the canopy open and positioned.  This allows for good ventilation mitigating disease pressure.  A healthy canopy provides shade from the midday sun and lengthens the vines’ ripening capacity.  Small bunches intensify flavor, prompting crop monitoring to ensure our high-density plantings are faithful to low yields.  We have a diverse mixture of chardonnay clones which provides another layer of complexity.

Hand-picked fruit is processed immediately to preserve all the integrity and purity of the grapes.  All fruit is tank-pressed first and then barrelled by gravity to the underground cellar.  The juice, on full solids, fills an assortment of barriques.  These are mostly manufactured by small French coopers - with a good level of new oak.  The juice’s indigenous yeast now takes the stage and erupts into spontaneous fermentation bubbling away in naturally cool and calm conditions.  Barrels are topped regularly and battonaged infrequently.  This is how the French masters have been making chardonnay for many generations.  It is a traditional approach that we have employed. 

Our 2021 Estate Chardonnay is fashioned in a classic, old-world style. Light golden straw in colour, with serene floral notes together with, custard apple, pineapple, and citrus aromas.  Every mouthful is textured with rich layers of cream, toasted nuts, and meal.  The tannins are quite elegant.  They drive and focus on the length of this wine together with the fruit acidity, but they don’t assert themselves.  Instead, they balance the wine’s power and opulence.

Time Posted: 17/09/2022 at 11:06 AM Permalink to 2021 Estate Chardonnay biodynamic new release! Permalink
Monique Lubiana
25 August 2022 | Monique Lubiana

Spring is around the corner

Pruning is coming to a close with all cuts made and tying down is approximately 80% complete. The cover crop seeded in Autumn is slowly starting to grow thanks to warmer nights and sunnier days.

Pruning of the close-planted Pinot Noir is best described as a tale of ecstasy and agony. The view while doing this work is exquisite, the sun is warm and glorious. The vines are only 40cm from the ground so there is much bottom sitting and constant up and down moving from one vine to the next on a steep slope. The only other option is dry tobogganing. The vineyard plot has a density of 11,000 vines per hectare that translates to a planting of 0.8 meters between vines by 1.1 wide rows.

Winter 2022 has been wetter than usual and we’re expecting this to continue into spring. We are prepared, already having purchased a second sprayer last year. This ensures when the window is open, we can operate 2 sprayers instead of one ensuring the job is done on time. Certified biodynamic operators, like ourselves, only have the option of using sulphur, both dusting powder and wettable, applied every 7 days in the peak growing season. We are unable to use systemic fungicides that have a protection period of 14 days. Biodynamics has an operating ceiling for copper use to control downy mildew so we use it sparingly.

As I write this blog we are busy taking cuttings. Some for replants in our recently planted close planted vineyard, some for replants in our established vineyard. Cultivating machinery, inexperienced machinery operators and vermin are responsible for the misses. Fortunately, there are not many replants and the spring rain helps these replants become established.

Recently we bought 2 new heards of sheep. These lovely woolley creatures do an excellent job of eating down the grass around the trunk. Biodynamics prohibit the use of herbicides; the alternative is cultivation. A more expensive and a heavier footprint on the environment. This year we have been blessed with many lambs, including at least 10 twin births and 1 set of triplets. One ewe lost a twin due to a breach birth.  When this happens, the ewe is sometimes overwhelmed and believes no lamb was born at all, subsequently rejecting the surviving lamb. When we first purchased our property, we bought 2 Murray Grey heifers who were joined. Unfortunately, one calf was stillborn.  Distraught, we sought advice from the farmer we purchased the property from and he told us to purchase a bobbie calf (the sale yard was only 2km from us) put eucalyptus oil on the mother’s nose as well as the calf’s nose and behind.  The scent overrides any doubts the mother might harbour and she accepts it as her own. This trick worked and the bobbie calf not only survived but thrived. We used this same tactic this week with the mother with one surviving twin and they are thankfully united.

During the colder months we have bottled the 2021 Estate chardonnay and disgorged our Brut Reserve NV ready for a spring released. If you missed my last blog you can catch it here, An American Odyssey, its all about our recent trip to the United States of America.

Last week we purchased a tow and blow frost fan to help mitigate frost at our vineyard in the Huon Valley. This equipment will reduce our need to burn oil (canola) pots and light wet hay to produce smoke at all hours of the night to mitigate frost settling on the young tender shoots.

We have a new little vineyard (exciting), just over 2ha, being planted at Blacksnake Road Granton, the trellising is finished and the irrigation is being installed. Depending on the weather we intend to plant before the end of September. Plantings are mostly chardonnay ear-tagged for our, Icon, Collina Chardonnay and some for sparkling wine fruit. 

That’s all from Stefano Lubiana Wines.  Look out for our next blog and share our news with your friends, colleagues, family or anyone who loves Tasmanian premium wine.

Time Posted: 25/08/2022 at 10:20 AM Permalink to Spring is around the corner Permalink
Monique Lubiana
10 August 2022 | Monique Lubiana

An American Odyssey

It has been, what feels like, an age since Steve and I first visited, separately, the mighty United States of America.  Steve has very fond memories, some potentially ‘naughty’, as a teenage exchange student spending 12 months in Salisbury, Maryland.  Whereas I, as an 19 year old ‘angel’, was lucky enough to visit my sister whilst she was stationed (finance) in New York City.  Steve can never forget the taste of Eastern shore crabs while I could not get or eat enough pizza by the slice.

During July Steve & I travelled to the USA for 2 reasons.  One was to taste as many Pinot & Chardonnays from the many talented winemakers and vineyards based on the West Coast.  Starting at Portland, Orlando driving down to Nappa Valley, California. Nappa Valley is located just outside of the, very cool, yet sunny San Fransico.  The second purpose of our trip was to meet with potential wine importers, to entice sales of our wine to a wine loving nation.

We were struck by the extravagant beauty of America’s west coast.  Flying over the countryside and driving inland south revealed the expanse of agriculture as well as the massive dividing ranges.  America is experiencing a significant drought displayed for all to see as we drove past Mount Schaffner dam, which was dry in some places, and we estimated 80% below the waterline. 

American people are so friendly, polite and kind, and the wine and food was exceptional.  We visited mostly small wine producers with the exception of one large winery called Seghesio Family Vineyards where we tasted mostly Zinfandel.

We discovered many of the small winemakers operate out of factories dotted in amongst city fringe in the light industrial zones.  Their wineries being mostly large sheds with a cordoned off area, tastefully decorated, for tastings and sales.  Almost all visits to wineries were by appointment only, which we found very frustrating due to our time pressures but understandable given the torrid time Covid has inflicted on America.  The cost to visit winemakers was very expensive, in the $100+/per person range, compared to our experience here in Tasmania (some tasting fees were part credited against a puchase).

Vineyards can be large and from what we understood the grapes are sold to a number of winemakers rather than one destination.  This may be so that the grower does not have all their eggs in one basket.  In 2020 depending on the region many grapes were destroyed due to smoke taint. 

Regarding distribution, that is a work in progress. Hopefully we will find our match in the near future.  Fingers crossed!  Two weeks in America chalked down to a great experience.


Time Posted: 10/08/2022 at 11:24 AM Permalink to An American Odyssey Permalink
Monique Lubiana
15 April 2022 | Monique Lubiana

New Releaes | 2019 Chicane Malbec / Merlot Biodynamic

Malbec & Merlot are Bordeaux grape varieties used in the production of our 2019 Chicane.  Whilst we have been growing Bordeaux varieties for many years, production of these wines is small unlike Pinot Noir & Chardonnay that dominate the Stefano Lubiana Wines portfolio.

Pinot noir is one of the most graceful red varieties grown around the world compared to Malbec & Merlot that are more structured in their design and in most cool climates display deeper longer tannin chains compared to the Pinot Noir variety.

That being said, here at Stefano Lubiana Wines our Chicane is produced in a very elegant style where the tannins are very soft but persistent and the fruit buoyant.  Aromas of mulberries, plums, blackberries and boysenberries feature on the nose and these fruit flavours also populate the palate.  Fleshy, fruity textures with juicy natural acids excite the tastebuds whilst the fine tannins give structure and length and helps dry out the fruitiness adding savouriness to the finish.

The decision to plant Bordeaux varieties at our Granton vineyard came about due our vineyard being situated on an estuary.  Soil types that accompany these sites are usually poorer in fertility, gravelly and warm easily creating perfect conditions for growing Merlot & Malbec.  Originally we trialled Cabernet and Cabernet Franc but found we could not ripen these varieties consistently. 

Being able to grown both Pinot Noir & Malbec/Merlot offers more wine choices and at the same time provides a fantastic challenge for Steve who loves nothing more than exercising his wine brain.

We are closing in on completing harvest and we have experienced very mild long autumn days where rain has been almost absent, reducing disease pressure, and most importantly limiting stress for our vineyard team.  The next grapes that will be picked just before or after Easter are Malbec, Merlot & Malvasia. 

Enjoy the 2019 Chicane with your favourite meat dish, rustic been stew or cheeses you love the best.

Happy Easter! 

Time Posted: 15/04/2022 at 9:58 AM Permalink to New Releaes | 2019 Chicane Malbec / Merlot Biodynamic Permalink
Monique Lubiana
24 March 2022 | Monique Lubiana

New Release | Vintage 2020 | Estate Pinot Noir | Estate Chardonnay|


Some of you will have purchased and will be enjoying our recently released ‘premium’ biodynamic Primavera Pinot Noir & Chardonnay wines, our ‘iconic’ Sasso Pinot Noir.  The time is now ripe to release our biodynamic ‘flagship’ 2020 Estate Pinot Noir & Chardonnay wines.

These two varieties are known as the Queen of whites and the King of reds. The excellent 2019-20 growing season has produced wines of outstanding quality. Viticulture for these wines is very similar to previous vintages.  Low yields in the vicinity of 5 tonnes/ha with good strong canopies ensuring the fruit slowly ripens in a stress free environment.

In vintage 2020 slight changes to winemaking were made to include more whole bunches for the pinot noir introducing more aromatics to the nose and more fruit to the front palate.  For the chardonnay we have bumped up the percentage of small format new oak a little and introduced a new Burgundian cooper from the Rully region.  The oak providing some subtle complexity that marries well with our fruit. These small changes have resulted in a deepening of the palate whilst maintaining minierality and a linear acid profile.  Otherwise, all other quality profiles remain in place.

We have been making Chardonnay & Pinot Noir at our Granton vineyard since 1993.  The excitement, thrills & spills have never diminished as we strive for authentic terroir driven wines.

The beauty of making the same wine from the same fruit for over 30 years means the relationship between the winemaker and the terroir is very close.  The winemaker is constantly learning and responding to what the terroir is expressing through the fruit leading to one outcome, well-balanced wines that are faithful to their sense of place.

2020 Estate Pinot Noir biodynamic is aromatic on the nose, a combination of cherry blossom and the smell of the forest after rain. More complexity will show with maturation.  The palate is rich and perfectly balanced between fruit sweetness and tannin grip.  The length of the wine persists and the finish is dry.

2020 Estate Chardonnay biodynamic is equally as lovely as the pinot noir. It has a bouquet of meal, sherbet & lemon blossom and a soft scent of spice from well-matched new oak.  The palate is rich, creamy and intense with a tight long finish.


Time Posted: 24/03/2022 at 2:55 PM Permalink to New Release | Vintage 2020 | Estate Pinot Noir | Estate Chardonnay| Permalink
Monique Lubiana
6 March 2022 | Monique Lubiana

New Vintage | 2020 Sasso Pinot Noir (26 Dozen) and 1999 Prestige Brut (8 dozen)

2020 Sasso Pinot Noir, 26 dozen, and 1999 Prestige Brut, 8 dozen.

Thinking of these two wines, the first noteworthy detail is these are definitely status wines.  Two icons of the highly desirable and respected, Stefano Lubiana Wine’s brand. They both speak of place, the environment in which they were grown and vinified or as the French say, Terroir, and both radiate precision, clarity and tension.

The 1999 Prestige Brut has had the luxury of decades to evolve, slowly unveiling its inner components that have now settled in to a well-formed dramatic sparkling wine.  Maturation at this level is not common amongst the sparkling wines produced in Australia.  Testament to the decision and foresight of Steve & Monique to swim against the tide and relocate their wine business from South Australia to Tasmania.  Proof that Tasmania, with it coolest of climates and chalky soils, can produce stars of the highest calibre.  Speaking of stars, they have aligned to deliver 1999 Prestige a one of a kind sparkling wine.  Very few Australian Sparkling wine makers can claim to match this standard.  A wine that will be appreciated amongst the most discerning connoisseurs and a potential worthy adversary to the best sparkling wine that Champagne can produce!

Enjoy with caviar dip, oysters natural, or a cheese soufflé.

2017 was the most recent release of the Sasso Pinot Noir produced at Stefano Lubiana.  So it is with much pomp and ceremony that we release the 2020 Sasso Pinot Noir.  It will delight its admirers to no end with its velvety blend of dark cherries and subtle spice.  A satisfier to all the senses, especially to the eyes with its dark rich crimson red, to the palate with the sensation of silky rich chocolate and, to the nose, a bouquet of the sweetest smelling reddest roses.  It would not be out of place in the company of some of Burgundy’s finest Pinot Noirs.

Here is wine where no amount of expense has been spared in yield reduction, oak selection and deployment, winemaking expertise and experience and very importantly a luxurious maturation.  A lucky and prized parcel of wine that has enjoyed the loving care, attention and consideration of its maker.

Try this exceptional Pinot Noir with crispy roast duck, Wagyu beef or a burnt butter sage gnocchi.

Time Posted: 06/03/2022 at 1:54 PM Permalink to New Vintage | 2020 Sasso Pinot Noir (26 Dozen) and 1999 Prestige Brut (8 dozen) Permalink
Monique Lubiana
4 February 2022 | Monique Lubiana

2020 Riesling Biodynamic

2020 Riesling Biodynamic

Rieslings grown in Tasmania are framed with endless racy acid, a consequence of very cool nights that blanket the most southern landscapes of our magnificent country.

The 2020 growing season was dry, warm, and mild. Ripening fruit beyond perfect, swelling its aromas of mandarin, orange blossom, lemon curd and musk-sticks.  For many years we’ve worked hard in the vineyard to grow greater/taller Riesling canopies that protect bunches from the sun, ensuing reduced phenolics whilst promoting pretty aromas and palate textures of chalk, soft juiciness, and silky light tannins.

Grapes are always picked in the cool of the morning, pressed and the juice then fermented in large format oak.  The wine is left on lees for an extended period to gather even more flavour & complexity, at the same time tempering angles and presenting layers of tannins. Bottle aging is for many months, relaxing its core without corrupting its cellaring potential.  This is the final step before release. 

Steve’s favourite food pairing; freshly caught flathead, garfish, whiting or if you live in the top end Barramundi, lightly dusted in flour and pan fried in hot organic sunflower or olive oil and seasoned with flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper. 

For those in a hurry, reach for a few oysters or prawns and dress with a squeeze of fresh lemom.  Vegetarians and vegans, enjoy our Riesling with a soft cheese or creamy humus and crusty bread.

Click here to read more!

Time Posted: 04/02/2022 at 11:48 AM Permalink to 2020 Riesling Biodynamic Permalink
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