Blazing the trail
One and a half hours north of Adelaide lies the Clare Valley with its five unique sub-regions – Auburn, Watervale, Sevenhill, Polish Hill River and Clare. While most famous for its Rieslings, which vary from the classic bone-dry Clare Valley style through to Half Dry and Botrytis examples, it is also home to sumptuous reds. Shiraz, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo, varieties which are all well-suited to the region.
As an inland region the Clare Valley has warm to hot days during the growing season but this heat is moderated by altitude. The 400-500m elevation helps ensure cool nights, ideal for giving the grapes a rest and keeping the acids and sugars in balance. This is particularly important for Riesling where refreshing natural acidity is a hallmark of the variety.
Originally home to the Ngadjuri people, European settlement and farming commenced in 1839 with a community made up from predominantly English, Irish, Polish and Silesian stock. Clare Valley winemakers also wrote their own wine history becoming the first wine region to fully commit to using screwcap closures for their Riesling. This commenced in the year 2000 and was an attempt to curtail ongoing issues with poor quality cork supply and guarantee customers that a Clare Valley Riesling would be free of cork taint. This innovative work saw Clare's reputation grow as a world-class example of the purity and elegance of this noble variety.
Learn more about the wine region here.