Stunning bush scenery, gum tree-lined streets – is there anything more quintessentially Australian? The Clare Valley, situated 130 kilometres north of Adelaide, is abounding in small-town charm. Its wine region has a unique terroir capable of producing a diverse array of wines; varied altitudes and ancient sedimentary soils allow for the production of both cool and warm climate varieties. Visit the Clare Valley’s cellar doors to experience viticultural diversity with an intimate, familial spirit – the community-mindedness of this idyllic region is not just a feature, but a part of the appeal.
Located in the heritage-listed Enterprise building in the heart of the Clare township is the Knappstein cellar door. It is an important part of the winemaking history in the Clare Valley and has some of the best vineyards in the region. The label’s “distinguished vineyards” philosophy speaks to its dedication to viticulture – the Clare Valley region has a distinctive terroir that allows for the cultivation of not only the excellent riesling grapes that Knappstein has become so well regarded for but also exceptional shiraz and cabernet sauvignon.
The Kirrihill Wines story begins back in 1998 with two friends and a passion for wine. Now one of the largest wineries in the region, Kirrihill is about to celebrate its 21st vintage. While the winery itself is relatively young, the family’s roots in the Clare Valley region can be traced back to the 1860s. Visit the cellar door to get to know the brand, the people, the stories and the homegrown approach behind the label. Kirrihill Wines currently holds and nurtures 1000 acres of vineyards that produce award-winning and bespoke Clare Valley wines.
Nestled in the heart of Polish Hill is the Pikes cellar door. Surrounded by tall gums, the newly-opened tasting room and SLATE Restaurant overlook the estate vineyards to the north. Pikes’s primary focus is on riesling, although almost 20 different varieties are grown across the site. The Polish Hill subregion has cooler temperatures than the rest of the region, and this combined with slate soils results in the production of fruit that is naturally high in acid and concentrated in flavour.
Tim Adams Wines
Tim Adams Wines is a family-owned and operated winery in the beautiful Clare Valley, situated adjacent to the region’s famous Riesling Trail. Visit the newly renovated cellar door, with its 16-bottle Enomatic wine dispenser that allows for tastings of current and back-vintage wines at the optimal temperature. Tim Adams Wines are reflective of the region: elegant, balanced and distinctly Australian. Clare Valley not only offers a diverse landscape, making it a fantastic wine-growing area, but also classic Australian history and scenery.
Make time for: a range of tasting experiences, including limited releases, back vintages and cellar door exclusives. New in April this year, visitors will be able to take part in a wine-blending session – an interactive experience allowing you to create your own master blend.
Pictured image 1/4: Knappstein cellar door | Find out more
Make time for: an array of different wine flights, themed by variety or range, all paired with complimentary canapes using fresh, local Clare Valley produce.
Pictured image 2/4: Kirrihill cellar door | Find out more
Make time for: a complimentary tasting of up to 25 different wines. Indulge in an “Earth to Table” hosted experience featuring four wines matched to canapes at Pikes’s hatted restaurant, SLATE. Or enjoy a more leisurely lunch with paired wines on the deck.
Pictured image 3/4: Pikes cellar door | Find out more
Make time for: a full tasting with experienced staff, or a curated flight of single-vineyard wines carefully paired with artisan cheese from The Smelly Cheese Shop. For a more relaxed experience, enjoy a cheese platter with a glass or bottle of wine while overlooking the gum trees.
Pictured image 4/4: Tim Adams Wines wine and cheese flight | Find out more
Discover more about the Clare Valley in our essential guide.
*This article was produced by Halliday Wine Companion in partnership with the featured wineries.