A Rich History
While regions such as the Barossa and McLaren Vale are better-known, it’s in the Clare Valley where the state's oldest winery can be found.
Jesuit Brother arriving in the 1840s were the first to plant vineyards. By 1851, they had established the Sevenhill winery to produce sacramental wine. Today, there more than 200 growers and 30 wineries and cellar doors.
On the map
You’ll find Clare Valley in the scenic north of South Australia. It’s one of the county’s most picturesque and oldest wine regions.
The climate is moderately continental, with cool nights and warm-to-hot summer days. Here, Riesling is king, and the Clare Valley is considered its Australian home.
The Riesling Trail
Clare Valley is a 100 km easy drive from Adelaide. Vineyards start in the Mount Lofty Ranges town of Auburn, where the southern end of the Riesling trail begins. The 35km trail is recognised as one of the premier cycling and walking trails in Australia. Using a disused railway line, it takes you past beautiful vineyards and farmland to the Clare Valley town of Barinia.
Warm days, cool nights and variation in soils (there are 11 different recognised types) also mean the Clare Valley is known for its distinctively earthy, savoury Shiraz. Clare Valley Shiraz is softer and more approachable than those of the Barossa, yet full of spice, cracked pepper and liquorice.
While the region’s history remains important, especially for the tourist trade, innovation and enterprise within the wine industry remains key. Today you’ll find varietals such as Chardonnay, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo and Grenache all grown and made in the Clare, with many wineries becoming household names in Australia.