The Hobart

OFF SEASON: Sierra Blair

by Stephanie Williams
OFF SEASON: Sierra Blair

Picture: Dearna Bond

Tasmania’s wines are not just world class – our local industry also lures the best winemakers in the world to our little island, like Sierra Blair at Ghost Rock in north west Tasmania.

Where did you grow up and where do you live now? I grew up in northern California, in wine country. I’ve been living in Australia on and off for the last nine years, and moved permanently to Tasmania five years ago.

Tell us a little about your work. Work as a winemaker is both varied and cyclical throughout the year. I love the many roles I get to play. One day I’m in tradie clothes, forklift grease on my hands, trying to fix something. The next day I could be in a nice outfit, pouring and talking about wines and eating great food at a beautiful venue.

What makes Tasmanian wine so good? The climate. There are very few true cool climate wine regions in the world, we are one of them. Cool climates make better wines (in my opinion).

Where did the name Ghost Rock come from? This is an interesting story that the cellar door team is better at telling than I am, so you’ll have to pay us a visit to find out!

What’s your favourite wine? Depends on my mood, the weather, what I’m eating, how I’m feeling…I love all varieties but Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are two I’ll never tire of.

Favourite spot to enjoy a glass of that wine? On my deck looking at the Bass Strait, or at Devonport’s new wine bar Pam’s Bottles and Cups.

What do you love doing outside of work? I love gardening, cooking, foraging, fermenting and preserving. I’m a big foodie. I need something to go with all that wine!

Who do you admire? Friends of mine and people I know who have kids, run businesses, have social lives, somehow do it all…the superhumans.

Favourite podcast or TV show? Hard one, but I think the only show I could watch multiple times is The Office (the American version).

Secret vice? Mezcal. But that’s not really a secret!

What are you reading now? In classic form, I’ve got about five books on the go, all nonfiction. Someone please send me a novel!

What was your first job? I think I was 14, bussing tables at a restaurant called the Western Boot Steakhouse.

What are your daily news/social media habits? Coffee in the morning, scanning headlines and diving deeper into anything that interests me. I try not to waste too much time on social media.

Your favourite place for…
Breakfast: Trophy Room in Hobart
Lunch: Timbre Kitchen in Legana
Dinner: Tom McHugos in Hobart

Favourite team? I’ve wanted to follow AFL, but not having grown up here I never felt a strong allegiance to any one team. That’s changed now, I’m all in for the Tasmania Devils!

Favourite Tasmanian secret? The most beautiful swimming hole in the river mouth near my house. Though I’m keeping that one a secret.

What’s your biggest tip for becoming a winter person? Get outside in the daytime, it’s often beautiful and the sun can be surprisingly warming. Enjoy the calm and less crowds. At night there’s nothing like a well cooked meal, a wood fire, and a glass of your favourite libation. I’m looking forward to it!

Want to experience Ghost Rock for yourself this Off Season? Visit the vineyard which overlooks Bass Strait or experience the ultimate in relaxation and indulgence with a stay at Ghost Rock’s Vineyard House. On your first night, settle in with an in-house dinner of slow cooked lamb and crispy potatoes. Wander over to the Cellar Door and Eatery the next day, for a wine tasting and two-course lunch, plus enjoy complimentary wine and cheese for an evening by the outdoor fire. For more information visit ghostrock.com.au.

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July 2024

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