Auburn University

The popular Riesling Trail, a walking and biking path that extends 36 picturesque kilometers north to Clare, begins in Auburn, a colorful strip of stone-fronted houses offering food, art, and antiques.

Wine me: Mount Horrocks Wines is a summertime treat, not only because of its rieslings but also because of its little cellar door, which is housed in the ancient Auburn railway station. Taylors Wines, the region’s largest winery, is located north of Auburn. Winery excursions, barrel tastings, and the opportunity to blend your wine are all available.

Try breakfast at Simpson Rices Creek, lunch at Meller’s Café, or the 1850s Rising Sun Hotel’s rustic pub comforts for light meals. Terroir, a well-regarded modern Australian restaurant, serves gourmet meals starting at 6 p.m. All of the food is sourced from within a 160-kilometer radius of Terroir, and the menu is earthy and honest, reflecting the region’s high-quality agriculture. Roast pork cutlet with honey-glazed root vegetables, grilled leek, onion jam, and cauliflower are just a few ideas.

Alternatively, pick up some pies and pasties at Cogwebs, which rents bikes for the Riesling Trail. The (largely) level track may be cycled in 2 1/2 hours, but it easily justifies a full day, stopping at wineries and restaurants.

Watervale

This small village, founded in 1847, is somewhat of a pilgrimage spot for fans of the Clare Valley’s trademark wine variety, riesling. For commercial purposes, Francis Treloar planted five acres of riesling in 1853. Some of Clare Valley’s finest labels continue to get fruit from parcels of aged vines.

Wine me: Riesling purists should seek out Clos Clare, Crabtree Wines, and Stephen John, offering handcrafted vintages in small quantities. Annie’s Lane is more well-known due to its prolific output of white and red wines. The Quelltaler estate, which dates back to 1863 and includes magnificent picnic spaces and a winemaking museum, is located just outside Watervale.

Dine me: Head north to the small village of Penwortham, then turn right onto Horrocks Road for a picturesque loop. Skillogalee is not just a renowned wine producer but also the location of the Skillogalee Restaurant. Breakfast or lunch can be enjoyed on the converted farmhouse’s porch, overlooking the garden and grapes. With the local “rez,” the Vine Pruner’s Lunch of rum-glazed ham and vintage cheddar works well.

Alternatively, during A Day on the Green, turn up the volume among the Annie’s Lane vines. Since 2005, the Quelltaler estate has hosted this vineyard circuit festival, bringing the Clare Valley to artists such as Tom Jones, Chrissie Hynde, and Chris Isaak. More than 6000 music fans gather each year, most of whom tent near the Watervale Oval. The Hoodoo Gurus and the Violent Femmes will headline the 2017 event on March 25.

Sevenhill

Sevenhill is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hamlet, yet it’s home to many reasons to slow down and stop.

Wine me: Among these is Sevenhill Cellars, the Clare Valley’s oldest winery and Australia’s only winery run by a religious order. The Jesuits founded it in 1851 to create sacramental wine. They still own it, and their altar wine is used in communions worldwide, including in the United States and Asia. They also make commercial wines sold at the charming cellar door, which is part of a historic estate that includes St Aloysius church, a crypt, and the magnificent wine vaults, all of which are open to the public for visits. If riesling is your thing, Paulett Wines is located in the famous Polish Hill River sub-region, just east of Sevenhill. The cellar door features a café and one of the best views in the area.

Dine me: The Little Red Grape has made a great sensation by combining an artisan bakery with a cellar door. What’s not to like about a delectable chunky steak pie accompanied by a robust Clare shiraz? The Sevenhill Hotel across the street has been there for a long time: it boasts consistently good pub food and a surprisingly fine basement cellar with hundreds of local wines.

Alternatively, turn right and travel into Mintaro, one of South Australia’s most beautiful villages. Art galleries, Reillys Cellar Door and Restaurant, Pikes Beer Company, a maze, and Martindale Hall — a late Victorian stately estate that looks incongruous in the South Australian terrain – are all located in this State Heritage corner of stone and slate.

Clare Tasting Notes

This working “ag town” serves a population of 3200 people and feels quite urban after all those picturesque towns and vales. However, it is not without history, interest, or excellent dining options.

Mr. Mick’s Cellar Door, carefully positioned at the end of the Riesling Trail for much-needed revivers, is one of the most practical cellar doors. It was founded by winemaker Tim Adams and named after winemaker KH (Mick) Knappstein, both well-known in the wine world. In the neighboring sub-region of Armagh, Jim Barry, producer of the well-known The Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon, is located.

Clare has many restaurants to choose from. You’ll find everything from McDonald’s to Only the Good Stuff, a paleo-inspired café. Seed Winehouse and Kitchen sprang onto the scene in 2014 as a great diner that would be at home in any capital city. It includes a cocktail bar and an intriguing dining area, which dishes anything from suckling pig to blue swimmer crab over black linguine and is fashioned from an 1850s chaff mill on Clare’s Main North Road.

Alternatively, at the Knappstein Enterprise Winery and Brewery, skip the wine and order a refreshing ale. In 1878, the first Enterprise Brewery opened, serving beer for copper workers. The building sat abandoned until the 1960s when it was reopened as a winery (and then a cellar door) under the Knappstein brand. When a new microbrewery was constructed on the property in 2006, it completed the circle: the Knappstein Enterprise Reserve Lager is unique in that both brewers and winemakers create it.