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Wine Host Tyson StelzerTasmania’s leading luxury lodge Saffire Freycinet has announced the return of celebrated wine writer and host Tyson Stelzer as he brings together France’s distinguished Champagne house Billecart-Salmon with seven of Tasmania’s finest sparkling wine makers in a very special Saffire Sparkling Weekend.

Running over two nights, August 16-18, 2024, the Saffire Sparkling Weekend will offer guests a very special Billecart-Salmon Nicolas François vertical tasting masterclass. This is rare chance to join Tyson and explore the past and present of the greatest prestige cuvée of Billecart-Salmon; featuring vintages 2008, 2007, 2006, 2002, 1998 and 1996 poured from magnums.

Tyson Stelzer said it was a rare privilege to bring together the finest prestige cuvée of Billecart-Salmon alongside the finest sparkling winemakers of Tasmania in the special weekend at Saffire Freycinet.

“Cuvée for cuvée and vintage for vintage across history, I rate Billecart-Salmon’s prestige cuvée Nicolas François as one of the top three sparkling wines in the world. Provenance is everything in champagne and tasting six of the greatest old vintages back to the legendary 1996 direct from the museum cellar of the house in rare magnum format is a unique privilege,” Mr Stelzer said.

Guests will meet seven of Tasmania’s premium sparkling winemakers from producers Apogee, Bellebonne, Clover Hill, House of Arras, Kreglinger, Lowestoft and Wellington & Wolfe, and will taste 25 of the state’s finest wines including the House of Arras E.J. Carr Late Disgorged Méthode Traditionelle and Bellebonne Blanc de Blancs.

A weekend highlight is an interactive masterclass with House of Arras, where guests discover the magical art of sparkling winemaking with Australia’s most-awarded sparkling maker, Ed Carr.

Excellent local-produce-driven menus in Palate Restaurant and barbecues on the terrace are an ideal complement to the free-flowing premium sparkling wines and champagne. A tasting course menu has been designed exclusively for the ultimate gala dinner.

Saffire Executive Chef Paddy Prenter said the weekend was a chance to showcase the state’s finest produce.

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“Guests can expect beautiful seafood with oysters coming from Melshell oyster farm in Dolphin Sands, Tasmanian rock lobster from our surrounding waters and octopus from the north of the state at Stanley. The exceptional wagyu beef from Robbins Island is unparalleled and perfection garnished with Tasmanian truffle, along with aged lamb loin, and farmed venison from Springfield Farm,” Mr Prenter said.

Saffire Freycinet General Manager Patrick Barrie said the Saffire Sparkling Weekend was a standout in the calendar, and an event that continues to draw guests to Tasmania.

“Tyson has a loyal following for our winemaker events here at Saffire, and in 2024 we are taking this weekend to a new level by showcasing our first ever Prestige Champagne Vertical Masterclass. We anticipate this will sell out quicky ahead of an exceptional weekend for our guests,” Mr Barrie added.

All-inclusive rates on the Saffire Sparkling Weekend start at $7,500 per suite for two guests. The Saffire Sparkling Weekend opens for bookings next Tuesday November 21, 2023.