Clare Valley

Clare Valley

33° 89' S


138° 36’ E




about this subregion

Nestled within the scenic Mount Lofty Ranges of South Australia, the Clare Valley wine subregion embodies the essence of viticultural excellence. Its Mediterranean climate, marked by warm summers and cool winters, fosters an ideal environment for grape cultivation. The region's significant diurnal temperature variation, with daytime temperatures reaching near 30°C in summer and mean maximums of 14°C in winter, contributes to the development of complex flavors in the grapes.

With an average annual rainfall of approximately 600 mm, predominantly during winter and spring, supplemented by summer thunderstorms, the valley ensures optimal vine hydration. The diverse topography, characterized by undulating hills and elevated vineyards between 400-500 meters above sea level, adds further layers of complexity to the terroir expression of Clare Valley wines. Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Riesling reign as the region's flagship grape varieties, each thriving amidst the climatic and geological diversity. These varietals stand as testaments to the valley's winemaking heritage, reflecting its commitment to producing wines of exceptional quality and distinction, revered by connoisseurs worldwide.

With meticulous attention to detail and a deep respect for the land, Clare Valley winemakers continue to craft wines that capture the spirit of their terroir and the diversity of Australian wines, inviting enthusiasts to experience the beauty and complexity of this renowned winegrowing region, enjoying unique wines in the amazing cellar doors of this subregion.


vinerra illustration

Vineyard Hectares



1,500 - 1,800


Discover Terroir

Nestled in the scenic north of Adelaide, the Clare Valley wine region is an Australian gem located in South Australia. This area is celebrated for its picturesque landscapes, which are as diverse as they are beautiful. Rolling hills and undulating vineyards dominate the scene, creating a patchwork of greenery that stretches as far as the eye can see. The valley is dotted with quaint towns and historic wineries, providing a glimpse into both the past and present of Australian winemaking.

The region's landscape is not just for show; it plays a crucial role in the production of Clare Valley's wines. The varying elevations, soil types, and microclimates across the valley contribute to the unique characteristics of each vineyard's output. From the terra rossa soils to the limestone bedrock, the geological diversity of the Clare Valley is a key factor in the complexity and variety of its wines.

In recent years, the Clare Valley has become known for its commitment to sustainable viticulture. Many winemakers in the region have adopted organic and biodynamic farming practices, aiming to produce wines that are not only of high quality but also environmentally friendly. This shift towards sustainability reflects a broader trend in the wine industry, with consumers increasingly seeking out products that are produced in an eco-conscious manner.

The Clare Valley's commitment to sustainability, combined with its stunning landscape and high-quality wine production, makes it a standout region in the Australian wine industry. Producing an average of around 20,000 tons of grapes per year, the Clare Valley is a small but mighty player on the global wine stage. Its wines are increasingly sought-after not just for their flavor profiles, which you can discover in the different cellar doors of the region, but also for their eco-friendliness, marking the Clare Valley as a region to watch in the years to come.

Nestled within the picturesque Mount Lofty Ranges of South Australia, the Clare Valley wine subregion stands as a testament to the harmonious marriage of terroir and winemaking prowess. This esteemed viticultural area is renowned for its Mediterranean climate, a hallmark characterized by warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters, fostering an ideal environment for grape cultivation. The interplay of these climatic extremes is perhaps most pronounced in the significant diurnal temperature variation experienced throughout the growing season. As the sun graces the valley with its warmth by day, temperatures can soar, nearing 30°C, only to plummet come nightfall, with lows hovering around a refreshing 13°C. This stark contrast is not merely a meteorological curiosity but a vital component of the winemaking equation, contributing to the gradual ripening of grapes and the development of nuanced flavors and aromas that define Clare Valley's signature wines.

Summer's embrace brings not only sun-kissed days but also occasional thunderstorms, punctuating the landscape with life-giving rainfall and replenishing the soil. Over the course of a year, Clare Valley receives an average of approximately 600 mm of precipitation, with the bulk of it arriving during the winter and spring months. This seasonal distribution of rainfall ensures vines have access to vital moisture during their growth stages, facilitating healthy canopy development and fruit maturation. Winters in the valley usher in a different rhythm, as vineyards bask in the tranquility of dormancy. Mean maximum temperatures hover around 14°C, while nighttime lows dip to an invigorating 3°C, signaling a time for vines to rest and rejuvenate before the cycle begins anew.

However, the allure of Clare Valley extends beyond its climatic tapestry, encompassing a diverse topography that adds further layers of complexity to its winemaking narrative. Ranges of undulating hills cradle the valley floor, creating a patchwork of microclimates and terroir expressions. The elevation of vineyards, ranging between 400-500 meters above sea level, serves as a natural amplifier of the region's diurnal temperature shifts. This elevation-induced cooling effect not only preserves acidity in grapes but also extends the growing season, allowing for a gradual and even ripening process. While Clare Valley lacks formal subregions delineated by law, it finds informal categorization in areas such as Auburn, Watervale, Sevenhill, Polish Hill River, and Clare, each bearing its own climatic idiosyncrasies and winemaking traditions.

In these distinct pockets of viticultural excellence, grape varieties find their niche, thriving amidst the terroir-driven nuances of their surroundings. Among the stars of Clare Valley's vinous repertoire are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Riesling, each finding its place in the sun-drenched slopes and sheltered valleys of the region. From the bold and peppery depths of Shiraz to the elegant austerity of Riesling and the structured opulence of Cabernet Sauvignon, these grape varieties embody the essence of Clare Valley's winemaking legacy. With skilled hands and an unwavering commitment to quality, Clare Valley winemakers continue to craft wines that capture the spirit of their land, inviting enthusiasts to savor the fruits of nature's bounty with every sip.

The Clare Valley wine subregion, celebrated for its premium wines, owes much of its viticultural success to the diversity of its soil types. These soils, each with its unique characteristics, play a pivotal role in the cultivation of the region's grape varieties, influencing the flavor, aroma, and overall quality of the wines produced. Here's an overview of the most common soils found in the Clare Valley:

  1. Terra Rossa: Known for its red topsoil over limestone, terra rossa is predominantly found in the Watervale district of Clare Valley. This soil type is particularly beneficial for growing Riesling grapes, contributing to the development of the wine's vibrant and complex flavor profile.
  2. Broken Slate: Located in the Polish Hill River area, broken slate soils contribute significantly to the mineral qualities of the wines. These soils are highly valued for their ability to drain well while retaining sufficient moisture to sustain vine growth during dry periods.
  3. Sandy Loam and Degraded Quartz: To the west of the main valley in areas like Skillogalee, sandy loams mixed with degraded quartz offer a unique growing environment. These soils are well-drained yet fertile, suitable for a variety of grape varieties, enhancing the diversity of wines produced in the region.
  4. Alluvial Soils: The northern reaches of Clare Valley are characterized by deep, fertile alluvial soils. These soils are ideal for viticulture, providing excellent conditions for a range of grape varieties, contributing to the region's ability to produce both red and white wines of exceptional quality.

Each soil type within the Clare Valley contributes to the distinctiveness of its wines, allowing for a wide expression of styles and flavors. From the minerality imparted by the broken slate to the vibrant acidity encouraged by terra rossa, the soils of Clare Valley are integral to the region's reputation as a premier wine-producing area in Australia​​​​.


Nestled in the heart of South Australia, the Clare Valley wine subregion boasts a rich tapestry of terroir, producing some of the finest wines in the world. Renowned for its red grapes Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, and the white grape Riesling, this region's unique combination of climate, soil, and topography provides an ideal environment for cultivating these esteemed grape varieties.

  1. Shiraz: Shiraz thrives in the Mediterranean climate of the Clare Valley, characterized by warm summers and cool nights. This grape variety prefers well-drained soils with good water retention, often found in the valley's undulating terrain. Shiraz vines require a sufficient amount of sunlight to ripen the grapes fully, contributing to their rich color and robust tannins. Adequate canopy management is essential to protect the grapes from excessive heat and sunburn while promoting even ripening throughout the bunches.
  2. Cabernet Sauvignon: Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in the Clare Valley's continental climate, which experiences warm to hot summers and cool winters. Well-drained soils, such as the region's terra rossa, are particularly favorable for Cabernet Sauvignon cultivation, allowing for deep root penetration and water uptake. These vines benefit from adequate water availability during the growing season, although they are relatively drought-tolerant once established. Canopy management plays a crucial role in optimizing sun exposure and airflow to the grape clusters, aiding in the development of desired flavors and phenolic ripeness.
  3. Riesling: Riesling finds a hospitable home in the cooler microclimates of the Clare Valley, where the moderating influence of altitude and proximity to the ocean ensures ideal growing conditions. This grape variety thrives in well-drained, mineral-rich soils, such as the slate and limestone formations prevalent in the region. The cool nights and warm days during the ripening period help Riesling grapes retain acidity while achieving optimal sugar levels. Prudent canopy management is essential to protect the delicate clusters from excessive sun exposure, preserving the grape's vibrant acidity and aromatic intensity.

The Clare Valley wine subregion, nestled in South Australia, is celebrated for its distinctive and high-quality wines, with a particular focus on Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Riesling. These wines, each with their unique aromatic and flavor profiles, reflect the region's diverse terroir, climate, and winemaking heritage. Below, we delve into the specific characteristics of these popular Clare Valley wines.

  1. Shiraz: Clare Valley Shiraz is renowned for its medium to full body and richly textured palate, elegantly combining dark fruit flavors such as blackberry, black cherry, and plum. These primary flavors are beautifully balanced with notes of liquorice and savoury spice. The cool nights and warm days of Clare Valley contribute to the wine's vibrant varietal flavor and acid retention, making it a balanced and complex offering.
  2. Cabernet Sauvignon: This varietal from Clare Valley stands out for its lush and powerful yet elegant profile. It features the dark fruit flavors typical of Cabernet, such as blackcurrant and dark cherry, but with a finesse and structure that hint at its good ageing potential. Often blended with Malbec, Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is ripe, rich, and showcases a restraint that is admired by wine enthusiasts.
  3. Malbec: In Clare Valley, Malbec shines with its approachable yet deep and intense character. When paired with Cabernet, it creates a wine that is both accessible and complex, boasting flavors of juicy plum, blackberry, and a hint of spice. The wine's richness does not compromise its depth, offering a layered and satisfying drinking experience.
  4. Riesling: The star white wine of Clare Valley, Riesling, is celebrated for its brilliant, age-worthy character. It showcases a spectrum of flavors, from vibrant citrus to notes of honey and toast as it ages. The cool nights contribute to a Riesling that is light to medium-bodied, yet full of fruit richness and complexity. The lingering acidity ensures a smooth texture and a richly satisfying mouthfeel, making it a favorite among white wine lovers.

These wines from the Clare Valley wine subregion not only reflect the unique qualities of their respective varietals but also the distinct terroir and winemaking philosophy of the area. Each offers a unique tasting experience, from the robust and spicy reds to the crisp and aromatic Riesling, making Clare Valley a must-explore region for wine aficionados.