Clare Valley Wine Region

The Clare Valley Wine Region in South Australia is located about just over a hundred kilometres north of Adelaide. It stretches from Auburn in the south through the villages of Leasingham, Penwortham and Watervale and on beyond the township of Clare in the north.

Pikes cellar door. Historic stone buildings, autumn colours, and blue skies typify the Clare Valley.

The history of this region is nearly as long as that of the nearby Barossa Region. The first vineyard, at Sevenhill, was planted by Jesuits in the 1840's and is still in production.

The Clare Valley region is really a series of north-south ridges and valleys with considerable variation in topography and microclimate. There are three unofficial sub-regions, the Polish Hill River region to the east, the Central Clare Valley, and the Skillogalee Valley to the west.

The region produces much better cool climate wines than its location and raw climatic data suggest. On paper the region looks to have a warm to hot viticultural environment.  In his book Viticulture and Environment, John Gladstones devotes considerable space to exploring the reasons why the various microclimates around Clare are much better for the production of table wines than for fortified styles.

The Clare Valley wine region is most famous for its crisp Rieslings and is now recognised, both in Australia and internationally as the premium region for dry wines from that variety. Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec are used to make impressive dry red wines here as well.  As in many South Australian wine regions Grenache is used as a blending component of red wines and occasionally as a straight varietal. 

Over recent years, the Spanish variety Tempranillo as well as Sangiovese and many Italian varieties have been introduced with very promising results. 

Artwine, now based in the Adelaide Hills, are taking up the challenge of introducing new varieties with Tempranillo and Graciano from Spain and Fiano from Southern Italy.

To add to the regional diversity in 2010 Jim Barry Wines became the first Australian vineyard to establish the Greek variety Assyrtiko.

Alternative varieties in the CLare Valley

  • Adelina Wines Arneis, Grenache, Mourvedre, Nebbiolo
  • Atlas Wines Malbec, Mourvedre
  • Black Stump Wines Nebbiolo
  • Byrne Sangiovese
  • Crabtree of Watervale Muscadelle, Tempranillo
  • Eldredge Malbec, Sangiovese
  • Erin Eyes Malbec, Sangiovese
  • Greg Cooley Sangiovese
  • Jeanneret Wines Grenache, Moscato
  • Jim Barry Wines Assyrtiko
  • Kilikanoon Grenache, Mourvedre, Viognier
  • Kirrihill Estates Fiano, Grenache, Montepulciano, Moscato, Mourvedre, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Tempranillo
  • Knappstein Wines Malbec, Sangiovese
  • Matchbox Wines Malbec
  • Matriarch and Rogue Sangiovese, Tempranillo
  • Mercuri Estate Malbec, Sangiovese
  • Mitchell Grenache, Mourvedre, Sangiovese
  • Mount Horrocks Nero d'Avola
  • Mount Surmon Nebbiolo, Viognier
  • Mr Mick Tempranillo, Vermentino
  • Pikes Chenin blanc, Fiano, Grenache, Mourvedre, Sangiovese, Savagnin, Tempranillo, Viognier
  • Rabbit and Spaghetti Vermentino
  • Reilly's Wines Grenache, Sangiovese, Tempranillo
  • Robertson of Clare Malbec, Petit verdot
  • Rabbit and Spaghetti Vermentino
  • Sevenhill Wines Barbera, Chenin blanc, Gewurztraminer, Grenache, Malbec, Muscadelle, Pedro Ximenez, Ruby Cabernet, Touriga, Verdelho, Viognier
  • Skillogalee Gewurztraminer, Grenache, Malbec
  • Stone Bridge Wines Malbec, Sangiovese
  • Sussex Squire Malbec, Sangiovese
  • Taylors Fiano, Gewurztraminer, Montepulciano, Nero d'Avola, Tempranillo, Vermentino, Viognier
  • Tim Adams Grenache, Tempranillo, Zinfandel
  • Tim Gramp Tempranillo
  • Trelawney Sangiovese, Tempranillo
  • Wendouree Malbec, Mourvedre
  • Wilson Vineyard Gewurztraminer, Tempranillo, Zinfandel
  • Wines by KT Tempranillo
  • Visiting the clare Valley

    This region is just an hour and a half drive north of Adelaide, not much further north than its better known neighbour the Barossa valley.

    There are many accommodation options including quite a few restored cottages in the villages and vineyards around Clare.

    Use the search box to help you find some great deals for staying in Clare.

    View of Pikes Vineyard

    Learn About Australian WIne Regions

    Wine Atlas of Australia

    James Halliday's Wine Map of Australia.

    Wine Map of Australia

    De Long's Wine Map of Australia

    New! Comments

    Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

    Before you go

    Please subscribe to my newsletter...

    I promise not to abuse your inbox. You will receive no more than three emails per month, most often just one, and you can unsubscribe at any time.