The Clare Valley Region is an easy day trip from the Barossa. Drive time from Stonewell to Clare is about 1 hour 15 minutes. The scenic drive via Greenock – Kapunda – Marrabel – Saddleworth – Auburn – Leasingham – Watervale – Sevenhill – Clare, will take you through wide open farming country, rolling hills and vineyards. The drive is particularly beautiful during October when the fields are golden with canola crops.
On your way, a very worthwhile detour from Kapunda, is a visit to Anlaby. Established in 1839, Anlaby was one of the early sheep stations in South Australia. In its heyday the property spanned 250sq miles, employed 70 people on the station and became famous for its 10 acres of garden tended by 14 gardners! Today, Anlaby is the home of the oldest Merino Stud on mainland Australia. The extensive gardens and beautiful 23 room stone mansion are being restored and are open to the public for guided tours of the garden and house, by appointment.
The Clare Valley region is considered the home of Australian Riesling and offers over 30 cellar door outlets from larger well know labels to small boutique producers. Clare Valley’s wineries lie along a narrow 40 kilometre corridor, between Auburn and Clare. The towns are spaced closely together.
A fun way to tour the region is via the Riesling Trail. The recreational walking and cycling trail starts at the former Auburn Railway Station and extends 35 kilometers, connecting the townships of Auburn, Leasingham, Watervale, Penwortham, Sevenhill, Clare and White Hut. The trail provides a wonderful opportunity to discover and experience the townships, at a leisurely pace, soak up the history of the Clare Valley and enjoy the grandeur of its unique, unspoiled rural landscape.
For a stunning view across the vineyards and valley be sure to stop at O’Leary Walker at Leasingham. The stunning modern cellar door building perched on top of a hill, with spacious green lawns and a wide verandah is the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of one of their award winning Rieslings with a tasty platter. Their seafood platters are particularly delicious.
On the edge of the main road at Sevenhill is The Little Red Grape. The beautifully restored cottage contains a regional cellar door, showcasing a collection of small producers who do not have their own cellar door outlets, a great place to try an excellent range of boutique wines. At the back of the cottage is a terrific artisan bakery; stop for morning tea, lunch or pick up some freshly baked bread.
A popular place for lunch is the quaint Skillogalee Cellar Door restaurant, 3km from Sevenhill. The restaurant is housed in the rustic cottage, where you can sit inside, on the verandah or in the pretty cottage garden.
The Clare Valley, now famous for it’s wines has a rich and interesting pioneering history. Take a step back in time and visit the sleepy village of Mintaro. Established in 1849, the village is now part of a State Heritage Area. The village streets contain original stone cottages, stables and stone churches. Be sure to also visit Martindale Hall, an impressive Georgian mansion built in 1879. Visitors can view the inside of this grand heritage listed building, which contains original decor and furnishings, including a grand billiard table, library and stunning staircase and balcony, on a self guided tour.
For more information on the Clare Valley region
>> Visit the Clare Valley Visitor Information website
>> Download the Clare Valley Visitor Guide
>> Download a brochure and map of the Riesling Trail