CLARE VALLEY – SOUTH AUSTRALIA

The Clare Valley is an area in which to enjoy an amazing mix of rich heritage and breathtaking scenery, with great food and wine experiences – a series of memorable moments.  Driving time from Adelaide, capital city of South Australia, is around 100 minutes (not allowing for stops for photo opportunities).

One does not necessarily need to be a wine lover to thoroughly enjoy all that this area has to offer.  During the recent visit to Adelaide of my friend from Switzerland we had an overnight stay in Clare and were able to visit several of the 30 + Cellar Doors. Many of the properties are quite historic and the well-manicured gardens sit beautifully into the hillsides with the green leafy vines extending in all directions.

The photographs I share here were taken at Skillagolee where we enjoyed a scrumptious Brunch.

There were wines to be tasted in many places so we had to leave this area of beauty and relaxation and move to our next stop which was at Sevenhill Cellars, established by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1851. It is the oldest winery in South Australia’s Clare Valley and the only remaining Jesuit-owned winery in Australia. This is a place of rich heritage and there is a walking trail (with map) with information along the way. The religious buildings are surrounded by vineyards and a lovely shaded lawn area, perfect for picnics and a place to relax. A step back in history.

We were now heading South but called at two more wineries along the way –

The little town of Mintaro was our next stop when we came upon a “GARDEN”sign.  We soon found Mintaro Garden Rooms where we meandered along the pathways through the various rooms with creative features and fragrances.  The garden was established in 1995 and was developed from a bare paddock and 3 existing trees. The whole area is reliant on water from the River Murray with a permit to irrigate and there is also an on-site bore. The average rainfall is 550mls  and the earth is red/brown over hard limestone. Beds are heavily mulched with leaf litter and pea straw and the fertile soil is regularly fertilised.  The bird life is plentiful.  A delightful place to take time out.

Last stop for the day was at Reilly’s Cellar Door in Mintaro where we enjoyed the best scones ever.

I was the driver for this excursion so not able to comment on the wines but those with discerning taste buds were making favourable comments and packing bottles into cars before leaving.

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