So as ye know by this stage we’re slowly but surely making our way through the different wine regions in Australia in order for Australia day! yesterday was Barossa, today its the Clare Valley. Now just like Barossa the Clare Valleys altitude suits the Riesling grape perfectly- but breaking with most Australian regions the predominant red grape to come from here is Cabernet Sauvignon not Shiraz. More on that in a bit- but now for the technical stuff!

The climate is moderately continental, with cool to cold nights and warm to hot summer days. The higher altitude, compared to other wine regions in South Australia, ensures cool nights even during the heat of summer allowing the fruit to ripen more evenly and slowly. Rainfall is predominantly in winter – spring (June – September) with an annual average of around 630 mm. Summers are dry and make irrigation desirable but also ensure a minimum of fungal diseases (if you remember the Barossa doesn’t bother with irrigation….). Varied soil types throughout the valleys are another feature, ranging from red to brown grey over basement rock.
All sounds pretty straight forward- but whats in the terroir?? What sets the Clare Valley apart?? What lets people know that this wine encompasses the personality of the place?? Well if you remember i was saying the main grape variety is Cabernet Sauvignon (in the reds anyways). This is important because the Clare Valley has an abundance of eucalyptus around it. And for some reason (not too sure on the sciencey bit of all this…) the Cabernet grape soaks this up, and clare valley reds are given this slight, but really nice, minty eucalyptusy edge. So there you have it again- you can read all the facts about the wine you want, but it always comes down to the personality of the wine- and how that personality gels with your own! Try some Clare Valley Cabernets- i gurantee they’ll be among the most interesting wines you’ll ever try!