The Clare Valley, settled in the 1840s and named after County Clare in Ireland, is one of Australia's oldest wine regions, dating back 150 years, and home to some of the best Riesling wines in the country. The Clare Valley has been making wine since the first grapes were planted in 1851. It lies in the Mid North of South Australia, approximately 120km north of Adelaide.
The Clare Valley region has more than 5,000 hectares under vine, over 40 cellar door outlets, and contributes around 2% of the Australian national grape crush. Clare Valley regional wines win over 7% of all medals awarded for Australian wine. Some of these wines vie with the best produced anywhere in Australia. The Clare Valley has a tradition in winemaking that goes back to the early 19th century when the first vines were planted.
St Aloysius’ Church and college buildings are home to the first winery in the Clare Valley. They are surrounded by lush surrounds and some of the oldest vines in Clare Valley. This majestic church is a popular tourist icon with a tragic past. Established by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1851, Sevenhill Cellars is the oldest winery in the Clare Valley and the only Jesuit-owned winery in Australia.
The varieties produced in Clare Valley are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Merlot. Clare Valley is regarded as Australia's home to Riesling. The principal red wine varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Other varieties grown include Chardonnay, Semillion, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo and Grenache. The drier styles are recognized as some of the best in the world.
There are a number of tour operators throughout the Valley. Visit a collection of cellar door outlets and take time to sample the wines, read the stories and experience the winemaking processes. The region has more than 48 wineries, most are small and only produce bottled wine.
Grapegrowers claim the unique combination of geography, geology and climate is perfect for producing world class wine. The Clare Valley region has 5 separate and uniquely diverse sub-regions. Different soil quality and exposure to sunlight, produces distinct types and qualities of wine. The mix of fertile alluvial elements, weathered rocks and limestone, each impart their own characters to the wines.
One of the highlights of the region's tourism is the popular Riesling Trail, a 32km track connecting Clare Valley's wineries.
02 Apr 2018