We’re not sure who Clare is, but they named a valley after her, and she makes a damn good Riesling wine. If you’re not a Riesling fan, don’t stress; there are plenty of other grape varieties to suck on. The Clare Valley wine region’s history dates back a whopping 150 years. The first vines were planted in the 1830s by European settlers. The culture is rich and the sense of community is strong.
So what? Are you planning a trip to Clare Valley? If you are, congratulations on escaping lockdown and here’s some secrets we can let you in on;
The tastiest Clare Valley winery restaurants
A few top-notch Clare Valley wineries for lunch
Things to do in the Clare Valley
Clare Valley luxury Accommodation
Epic Clare Valley wine tours
Sound good? Letsah Go!
The Clare Valley Wine Region
Just an hour and a half north of Radalaide (the local’s colloquialism for Adelaide), best prepare to Immerse yourself in an adventure through the country roads by motor vehicle or by bike, traversing the Reisling Trail, stopping at cellar doors, art galleries and cafes along the way. Alternatively, there are some great wine tours in Clare Valley that provide informative friendly services that don’t involve any peddling.
Now, what we stated earlier was not entirely true, we do know who Clare is; Edmond Gleeson named the region in the 1840s after his hometown in Ireland, County Clare. Not long after the naming of young Clare Valley, the region started to build a reputation for its fertile soil… yes, Clare is very fertile.
As the heart of Australian Riesling, The Clare Valley is home to some of the best in the world and is considered a benchmark of quality. The Clare Valley Rieslings show characteristics of exotic citrus, lime, orange blossoms and crunchy apples. But it’s not all white wine winners, the Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon are also very highly regarded.
The Clare Valley is known for its moderate continental climate. With warm summer days, cooling in the afternoon and chilly night breezes slowing the ripening process, allowing maturities to shine through the grapes.
Clare Valley wineries only produce 1.3 % of Australian wine, however, the region’s wine is internationally acclaimed and appears in five-star restaurants and aircraft worldwide.
Clare Valley Winery Restaurants
Speaking of eating out, Clare Valley winery restaurants are known for their southern hospitality and inspired menu choices. The region is abundant when it comes to produce, giving Clare Valley restaurants the upper hand to deliver invigorating culinary experiences.
There is something about the paddock to plate philosophy that just tickles our fancy. We recommend Slate Restaurant at Pikes Wines. They try to use what’s in their kitchen garden out back, mixed with locally sourced ingredients to create a cuisine that replicates the flavours of Australia. Book in advance… it’s making us hungry just thinking about it.
Clare Valley Accommodation
If, after reading this article you decide that one day in paradise isn’t going to cut the mustard, Clare Valley accommodation is readily available. We recommend the Skillogalee Cottages. They are straight out of a storybook, and on the inside, there is nothing but extravagance and comfort. For luxury accommodation in the Clare Valley, kick your feet up at Skillogalee.
Clare Valley Wine Tours
When it comes to wine tours in the Clare Valley, you can’t go wrong with Clare Valley Wine Tours; the clue is in the title. Mr Wilson runs the wine tours and tell you what; he knows the region like the back of his hand. There is nothing better than having a local tell you where to go and, more importantly, where not to go
If you’re looking to soak up a bit of knowledge and a bit more Clare Valley Riesling than you might like to admit, book a tour.
Clare Valley Wineries Map
After a few vinos, the wine fog settles in, and direction may not be your strongest suit. Check out this wineries map of Clare Valley to figure out where you’re going next.
The Best Wineries in Clare Valley
We are spoilt for choice when it comes to the Clare Valley. Here are our top 6 wineries to indulge in…
The award-winning Pauletts came about when the Paulett family relocated from the Hunter Valley in 1982. Neil and Alison Paulette have created a family-orientated business with a single philosophy “create memorable moments in every glass”.
Sitting at the pinnacle of Clare Valley winery restaurants, the BushDevine Restaurant is a stunner. Jaw-dropping views overlooking the vineyards and beyond, and the best way to describe the food is the Australian bush on a plate. They have cultivated the idea of Australian cuisine, collaborating a range of international influences but using innovative ingredients; for example, the delicious Braised octopus, nduja, eucalypt smoked macadamia, muntries, and kohlrabi is a must-try.
When it comes to Clare Valley wineries, you’d be insane not to take advantage of this institution of exquisite indulgence.
4.9⭐️ Google Review from 94 reviews
4.5⭐️ Trip Advisor from 270 reviews
Sevenhill Cellars was the first winery established amongst the Clare Valley Wineries.
Sevenhill was settled back in 1851 by the Society of Jesus to produce sacramental wine. This tradition is continued through the winery today, but it’s now also highly regarded for its premium wines. It is said that all water that trickles down the valley turns into wine and… not really, but that would be cool.
If you decide to partake in Mr Wilson’s Clare Valley Wine Tour, Sevenhill Cellars is the first winery you visit; he’ll go into depth about the history, including a little background about the men of the cloth that are buried in the crypts beneath!
Whilst learning about Sevenhill’s religious and historical significance, enjoy a glass of their premium nectar of the vine in one of the best wineries in Clare Valley.
4.6⭐️ Google Review from 84 reviews
4.5⭐️ Trip Advisor from 300 reviews
3. Crabtree Watervale Wines
The estate was founded in 1849 and was originally an orchard growing various seasonal fruits.
Robert Crabtree purchased the property in 1984. He built a small modern winery, renovated the historic homestead and upgraded the vineyard.
Crabtree Wines is now a small boutique winery, meaning the wines produced become vintage and are very limited in production. Award-winning, hand-crafted wines are available to try at the cellar door, seven days a week.
Crabtree Wines pride themselves on unique & delicious wine, friendly staff and intimate, memorable Clare Valley wine tasting experiences. Today, the winery is thriving and they are adamant on keeping Robert Crabtree’s initial vision alive.
5.0⭐️ Google Review from 22 reviews
4.5⭐️ Trip Advisor from 43 reviews
4. Claymore Wines
Claymore Wines began back in 1997, and they have proclaimed that “Wine is the only artwork you can drink” ever since. With this mentality at the foundation of their philosophies, the Claymore empire was constructed. They now own 40 hectares of vines and three additional vineyards in Watervale.
The brand label is inspired by the winemaker’s favourite bands and soccer team, Liverpool. They use a range of grape varieties from Shiraz, Cabernet, Grenache to crisp Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Chardonnay.
Have a laugh with the staff as they take you through some premium wines at the cellar door that you can only experience then and there, like the Bitter Sweet Symphony or The Dark Side of the Moon. Claymore Wine truly is a drink with a sense of humour.
4.7⭐️ Google Review from 30 reviews
4.5⭐️ Trip Advisor from 57 reviews
5. Jim Barry Wines
Jim Barry was full of drive and community spirit. He helped shape South Australia’s Clare Valley as a benchmark producer of world-class Riesling. It also cemented its place as one of Australia’s premier wine regions. Jim Barry was the first qualified winemaker in the Clare Valley in 1947.
They emphasize the importance of maintaining the fruit’s integrity when winemaking, none of that fancy nancy stuff, just good quality grapes. With three generations of knowledge and experience resting on their shoulders, they now own 17 vineyards covering 320 hectares of the Clare Valley wine region.
4.5⭐️ Google Review from 50 reviews
4.5⭐️ Trip Advisor from 100 reviews
6. Eldredge Vineyards
There lies a 100-year-old cottage living among the Sevenhill Ranges reborn from the moss gathered and turned into Eldredge Vineyard. The Estate now generate premium quality wines using nothing but 100 % Clare Valley fruit that portrays the unique characteristics of the valley.
Eldredge Wines is picturesque, to say the least. This Clare Valley winery is perfect for weddings, functions, or just to enjoy a glass of the old vino with a cheese plate to compliment. The views from the deck are glorious and they often hold groovy events like their Gourmet Sundays or their Long Lunch where you can taste the menu and the wine list matched and ready to go.
Sample one of the best Clare Valley wineries for lunch; treat yourself.
4.6⭐️ Google Review from 23 reviews
4.5⭐️ Trip Advisor from 21 reviews
Things to do in Clare Valley
Get in the car and discover all the Clare Valley has to offer. Explore the region’s villages nestled in the picturesque valley. Admire the stunning vineyards, enjoy the impeccable farmland and adore the overall beauty of the region.
We recommend hiring a bike and exploring the famous Riesling Trail. The trail stretches 33km long and, in total, is a 4.5-hour bike ride but has numerous stops along the way. You can explore cellar doors, art galleries or quaint towns, and so much more.
One of the best things to do in Clare Valley – check out the great events list. From country shows to gourmet food and wine events and everything in between. There is also the tremendous annual Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend. This is held each May and has been for over 30 years. There is also the yearly Clare Valley Easter Races and the Burra Picnic Races to explore.
We recommend making a holiday of your time in the Clare Valley and experiencing the gift that keeps on gifting, or something like that.