Wines of brilliance and innovation

Clare Valley is located north west of the Barossa Valley in South Australia. Its history dates back to the 1830s with the first vineyards planted in 1840. By the 1890s there  were almost 600 hectares of vines, today there are more than 4,000 hectares planted. 

With a cornerstone of classic, traditional producers and a new era of winemakers keen to throw away the rulebook and try a new approach, Clare Valley’s reputation for quality and consistency looks set to continue. 

Clare Valley
Clare Valley
This map is not an accurate representation of the regional GI boundaries. Please click here to view an accurate map of the regional boundary.

Clare Valley snapshot

While Clare Valley has developed the reputation of being one of Australia’s premier Riesling growing regions, more red varieties are planted than white.

The complex climate and varied topography allow for Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon to excel.

Total vineyard area
33° 50'S
Growing season rainfall
Mean temperature (Jan)
Heat degree days

Cabernet Sauvignon

Also does very well in Clare displaying dark, rich black fruit characters with firm but plush tannins. Often blended with Shiraz and sometimes a little Malbec.


This variety has become synonymous with Clare Valley. The typical style is quite restrained and austere when young with lime and mineral notes. Most benefit from 5–7 years of bottle age and can evolve for decades. Clare Riesling represents 20% of total Riesling crushed each year in Australia.


Clare Valley Shiraz is typically full flavoured with ripe blackberry, spice and mint characteristics. The strong diurnal temperature shifts allow for acid retention and vibrant fruit quality.

Top varieties grown in Clare Valley
  • The temperature data is often said to be very misleading due to the large diurnal variation
  • Drops of temperatures from 40°C during the day to 1°C at night are common during main ripening months
  • Altitude and aspect within the valley important
  • Protection from or exposure to cooling maritime breezes
  • 11 different recognised soil types
  • Polish Hill is known for broken slate
  • Watervale has limestone in sub-soils

Stories of Australian Wine

Regional associations

Clare Valley Winemakers' Inc