The Italians would say “Il Destino!” Steliano (Stel) Cusmiani’s heritage reaches back to his grandfather, a north-eastern Italian Viticulturalist and Winemaker. He was Born in the NSW Wine Region of the Hunter Valley, and Stel’s destiny seemed certain … perhaps wine is in their blood.
I fell in love with Wine in 1976, in New York when I worked at my Uncle’s restaurant. The aroma’s, tastes, varieties, etc has inspired me to be devoted and passionate about learning and educating people in the pleasures of a myriad of grape varieties and wine styles. Having worked in NSW, South Australia, the USA, and travelled, tasted and immersed himself in the wine and Champagne regions of France and Italy along with the magnificent wine regions of Australia.
43 years later, there’s not much that Stel doesn’t know about wine appreciation, and he is still enjoys learning more, having worked for small and large wineries and being mentored by some of the greats in the industry.
I was asked “Why do you do what you do?”. Well, I can’t think of anything better to do than driving amongst some the best scenery in the world and hosting guest, watching them get immersed in Tasmania and what it has to offer. My only challenge is that I am not allowed to have any alcohol in my blood whilst I am driving on the tour.
My passion has been shared with those wanting to expand their knowledge, some just for the pure pleasure in their glass and others wanting a more technical encounter. All are catered for and at every level.
I was a presenter on Carnival Cruises P&O line for around 5 years and my guest’s most popular event was “How to look like a wine expert in under 1 hour”. It sold out in no time, along with the crowd pleasing ‘Wine & Gourmet Chocolate Pairing’ and ‘Master Classes’ for passengers wanting a more in depth experience.
…”I learnt so much and had a ball, what a great experience” / “I feel like I know more about what to look for now.” / “ I love the fact that I can now Fool my friends” StelaVino Guided Wine Tours is more than a visit to a few cellar doors. It is a wine experience with an actual wine aficionado. We’re sure you’ll recommend us to your friends and family.
Why Tasmania? – As is the case with Cool Climate wine regions like Burgundy and in Tasmania, site selection is critical – Sunshine; protection from frost and strong winds; gentle and steep slopes magnify the sun’s rays on the grape berries, and the soils that feed the vines, are all important in helping to produce some of the best wines in the World.
South Eastern Tasmania is ideally suited for grape growing and winemaking – vineyards are laid out on Slopes; Hillsides in Valleys, or they are close to a river, on gentle slopes which are excellent for cold air drainage and protection against frost.
The rivers magnify the calming effects of a maritime climate, a temperate climate – the tempering effects of large bodies of water are ideal for growing wine grapes, allowing for a Long, Slow Ripening.
Uncovering the winemaker’s stamp – we may see that the more winemakers there are in a region, then the more the difference between each wine will be revealed, even from the same grape variety.
The south-east coast has greater heat degree days than other viticultural areas of Tasmania – warmer and drier than the rest of the state, yet is Colder during the growing season. Good reasons why site selection is such a vital factor in grape growing and wine making, and why Tasmania’s wine regions are a must to visit.