Clare Valley Wine Region By James Halliday

Discover the wineries of the Clare Valley wine region of South Australia. Use our Clare Valley region guide and map to help you plan your next winery visit and to learn more about this region. This content is taken from James Halliday’s Wine Atlas of Australia, which is available to buy in the Wine Companion bookshop.

Fast Facts

  • Latitude:
    33°50’S
  • Altitude:
    400–500 m
  • Heat degree days:
    1770
  • Growing season rainfall:
    200 mm
  • Mean January temp:
    21.9°C
  • Harvest:
    Early March to late April
  • Chief viticultural hazard:
    Frost; drought

Discover the wines and wineries of the Clare Valley

Discover the Clare Valley with James Halliday's Wine Atlas of Australia

More than any other district, the Clare Valley throws into question the accuracy of the heat summation index as a measure of climate, although it still remains the best shorthand method we have. The HDD summation is 1770, the same as that of Rutherglen and in excess of the 1710 for Nuriootpa. The style of the wines is inconsistent with a climate seemingly so warm; the continental climate and cold nights in the growing season provide the answer. Over 60 per cent of the annual rainfall is between May and September. The growing season rainfall, of a mere 200 millimetres, makes irrigation highly desirable, although the absence of groundwater makes this difficult to supply in many parts of the Clare Valley, and the vines have traditionally been grown using dryland farming techniques. The low humidity means fungal diseases are seldom a threat, but water stress late in the growing season may lead to partial or total defoliation of the vines, and occasional ripening problems with Riesling.

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