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 Where We Are

Launceston is a city of about 88,000 people located at the head of the Tamar River about 50km from Bass Strait at the confluence of the North and South Esk Rivers.

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"Pig of the Month" at the 11 April,  2024, Tasting:



Wines of the 11 April, 2024, Tasting

 Wines of the April 2024 TastingWines of the April 2024 Tasting


The Senior Pig Turns 80!

22 September, 2020

We celebrated Tony's 80th birthday in proper Pigs fashion with a tasting followed by cake and gifts of appropriately old wine. Many happy returns, Tony!



The  Inaugural National Pigs Taste-Off

21 July, 2019

Our Tasteful Perpetual TrophyOur Tasteful Perpetual Trophy

Since the beginning of the Flying Pigs, long about 1981, there have been membership changes as people have moved away for career or family. Some took the group concept with them and set up "chapters" in their home towns. This year we finally made our idea for a National Pigs Taste-Off  a reality. Four groups gathered in Launceston - the Launceston, Tas, Hobart, Tas, Perth, WA and Bunbury, WA Pigs, to vie for the trophy.


And the Winner Is - Perth!And the Winner Is - Perth!

 The clear winner was Perth, with a fantastic group effort.


The individual winner for the day was Craig, with an absolutely outstanding 29/30 points. The lucky devil gets to hold the coveted Flying Pig pin until it is next up for grabs.









Thanks go to Victoria's Restaurant at City Park, Launceston for a wonderful meal and great hospitality; to Tony for driving the organisation of the event (despite his altercation with the lead while walking the dog), and to David for his careful selection of both the wines and the options. For his tasting notes, click HERE.



Tony Welcomes the GatheringTony Welcomes the Gathering

Cellarmaster DavidCellarmaster David













-The Original Flying PigsThe Original Flying Pigs

The original group of Flying Pigs were all together again for the first time in 38 years. And NEXT year plans are already in the works for a national gathering in Bunbury, WA, to do it all again. We're looking forward to it!

The Annual Pigs' Breakfast

February, 2023

The Pigs Celebrate Shelagh's Birthday

March, 2018


The Pigs Hard at Work

 February, 2017

 The Pigs February tasting featured some remarkable wines (thanks Howard and Melissa) - the most remarkable of which was probably the 1988 (!) Piper's Brook Chardonnay from Tasmania, which was certainly still alive - although a Penfolds 1993 St Henri Shiraz was pretty good as well!


The Pigs at Brook Eden Vineyard

March, 2016

The Pigs had a great tasting visit to Brook Eden Vineyard near Lebrina, Tas. Huge thanks to owners Ed & Annette Ferrero, who laid on a wonderful tasting of cellared chardonnay, pinot gris and pinot noir (we gave gold-medal scores to them) - along with some of their lovely recent-release sparkling. Annette's home-made camembert-style cheese was a great addition.

At Brook Eden VineyardAt Brook Eden Vineyard

  Congratulations to Flying Pig Tony Walker!!

on winning the Wine Communicators  Australia Award 

for the best wine book of 2015: Vintage Tasmania

'Vintage Tasmania', a book celebrating Tasmania's rich wine history by Tony Walker, is one of three finalists shortlisted for the national Best Wine Book award. Presented by Wine Communicators Australia, this award recognises a published book (print or digital) which best supports Australian wine with demonstrated depth of knowledge, engaging and professional content targeted to its chosen audience. Vintage Tasmania, a high quality 280-page lavishly illustrated book has been written by Tasmanian wine writer and wine historian Tony Walker, with an introduction by leading wine writer, James Halliday. - See more HERE

The Flying Pigs Oenological Society 

Origin and "Rules"

Some time in 1979 or 1980 Howard and Fred, sharing a bottle of wine after squash,  were discussing how few wines they would actually sample at that rate. And with that inspiration they decided to form a wine tasting group to help them in their thirst for knowledge. Figuring that "pigs might fly" before they managed to get it all straightened out, they invited three more couple to join them for regular tastings, and the Flying Pigs Oenological Society was born.

The Flying PigsThe Flying Pigs

The parameters for the group they set up that day were:

  • the Group to comprise 5 couples
  • the Group to meet once a month rotating members' houses
  • the monthly host to provide 5 wines plus some simple nibbles
  • wines to be rated out of 20: 3 points for colour, 7 points for nose and 10 points for palate
  • the tasting to be "blind" but with two options in four categories
  • the categories to be :
    • colour (yes, red or white - so no on would get a zero score) - 1 point
    • grape variety - 2 points
    • region - 1 point
    • year - 1 point
    • a "bonus point" can be gained for a wine if the member names the actual wine correctly (like, for example "Penfolds Kalimna"), PROVIDED that person has got a perfect score (5 out  of 5) for that particular  wine
    • In the case of a tied score after 5 wines, there is provision for a sixth-bottle "taste-off" between the tied scorers ONLY (the others are out of the competition).The PigThe Pig

Over the 34 or 35 years the Flying Pigs has been going (we must learn to keep records one day) the Group has had various members, but Howard and Stan are still among them. For a time the Group expanded to 6 couples (and 6 wines a tasting), but is currently back at the original 5 couples (but we somehow managed to keep the 6 wines per tasting).

Somewhere along the way a "Flying Pig" brooch was made and it has become a hotly-contested trophy for the tasters, with the highest point score for the night (the hosts being excluded from he competition) being deemed Pig of the Month (it sounds better in French) and gaining the right to wear the brooch until it is won by another.


The Pigs' Dinners

It was further decided that the Group would have two formal "Pigs' Dinners" per year, as close to the summer and winter solstice as practical, and, again, rotating the venues among the members. Each member couple would be responsible for a course - hors d'oeuvres, soup, entrée, main and dessert - with the host couple always doing the main. And each couple would provide two bottles of an appropriate wine for their own course.

Also,  there  have been occasional Pigs Breakfasts (well, a weekend brunch, really) just for fun and camaderie, plus the VERY occasional Pigs Outing - with the Group travelling overnight to a regional restaurant - having made arrangements to bring our own wine. Four of the five couples even managed to coincide in a rented house in Mirepoix, France for a vacation.

Pigs’ Summer Dinner– January, 2021



 Gravlax with toast wedges and mustard vinaigrette

 Fresh Oysters with ponzu sauce, migionette sauce, and wasabi flying fish roe & crème fraiche

 Bream Creek sparkling 2016

 Clover Hill NV rosé sparkling


 Main Course


 Crumbed prawns and scallops

 Chicken salad

 Roast garlic potatoes

 Tomato tarte


 Gravlax/hot smoked salmon with dill & cream cheese

 Eddystone Point Pinot Gris 2019

 Francois Martenot Macon-Villages 2018

 Henry Fessy Beaujolais-Villages Veilles Vignes 2019



 Pavlova with Grand Marnier

 Velo 2016 sparkling rosé


The Pigs at Howard & Melissa's Shack - Interlaken

March, 2016

At InterlakenAt Interlaken




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