Clare Valley Wine: World Class Rieslings and Full Bodied Reds

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Located in South Australia, the Clare Valley wine is is sourced from one of Australia’s oldest and most prestigious wine regions. Renowned primarily for its world-class Riesling, this region offers a diverse array of wines and styles to satisfy any palate.

Situated around 120 kilometers north of Adelaide, the Clare Valley enjoys a continental climate. Hot days are followed by cool evenings, and this diurnal temperature variation ensures a slow ripening of the grapes, allowing them to develop intense flavors while maintaining a vibrant acidity.

Clare Valley Wine; Rieslings, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon

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When it comes to key varieties, Clare Valley Rieslings are particularly notable. They are known for their lime and lemon flavors, intense floral notes, and characteristic minerality. As these wines age, they often develop toasty, honeyed nuances. While they can be enjoyed young, they also have excellent aging potential, with some lasting for decades.

Another staple of the region is the robust and full-bodied Shiraz with dark fruit flavors, often complemented by spicy, peppery notes. The region’s Shiraz can also offer eucalyptus and mint undertones. Like the Rieslings, Clare Valley Shiraz wines have a good aging potential, with the best examples evolving over 10-15 years.

Cabernet Sauvignon from the Clare Valley tends to be structured and elegant, with flavors of blackcurrant, plum, and hints of eucalyptus. While many can be enjoyed young, they benefit from aging, which allows their complex flavors to shine.

Four Sub-Regions

The Clare Valley also consists of various sub-regions each with its own unique characteristics. Watervale, located in the southern part of the valley, is famed for producing some of the most intense and aromatic Rieslings. The wines from here are often characterized by their pronounced lime citrus flavors. Auburn offers both superb Rieslings and reds due to its slightly warmer climate, resulting in wines with a bit more body and richness.

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A selection of Clare Valley Wines

Polish Hill River, a cooler and more elevated region, produces Rieslings with pronounced minerality and a steely character. The central regions of Sevenhill and Clare are known for both their red and white wines, providing a good balance of fruit intensity and structure.

Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend

For those considering a visit, the valley is home to numerous wineries, many of which offer tasting sessions. This provides an excellent opportunity to sample and buy directly from the producers. The Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend, usually held in May, is a popular event that showcases the region’s wines and local produce. There’s also a range of accommodation options, from luxury lodges to charming bed and breakfasts.

Lastly, when it comes to pairing Clare Valley wines, the crisp Rieslings are ideal with Asian dishes, particularly those with a touch of spice, or with fresh seafood. The robust Shiraz matches well with grilled meats, stews, and hearty pasta dishes. Meanwhile, Cabernet Sauvignon is perfect alongside roasted lamb or beef dishes.

The Riesling Trail

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Clare Valley Riesling Trail Map

The Riesling Trail is a 35-kilometer long walking and cycling track located in the Clare Valley, South Australia. It is one of the first rail-trails to be developed in South Australia and offers a scenic route through the picturesque Clare Valley wine region.

The trail runs between Auburn and Clare, passing through several towns and villages along the way, including Leasingham, Watervale, Penwortham, and Sevenhill. It follows the contours and curves of the former railway, providing ever-changing views of vineyards, mixed farms, and natural landscapes.

The Riesling Trail is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and wine lovers, offering a unique way to explore the beauty of the Clare Valley.

Wineries on the Trail

Sevenhill Cellars: This historic winery is located in Sevenhill and is known for its premium wines, including Riesling, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Kilikanoon Wines: Situated in Penwortham, Kilikanoon Wines is renowned for its award-winning wines, particularly its Riesling and Shiraz varieties.

Skillogalee Winery: Located in Sevenhill, Skillogalee Winery offers a range of wines, including Riesling, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery also has a restaurant where you can enjoy a delicious meal paired with their wines.

Mount Horrocks Wines: This winery is housed in the restored Auburn railway station building and is the southern terminus of the Riesling Trail. Mount Horrocks Wines is known for its organic and biodynamic practices, producing exceptional Riesling, Semillon, and Shiraz wines.

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