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Australia

Clare Valley

  • Located near the southern coast of Australia, just north of Adelaide, this unique mesoclimate is made up of mostly narrow, north-south valleys on an elevated plateau with incredibly different soils within each of these small valleys.
  • This allows for the unique ability for this region to grow excellent Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and just nearby, one of the best examples of dry Rieslings.
  • The first non-native people arrived in this area in April of 1839 and helped build the first European settlement shortly afterwards. Within 10 years, pilgrims from many European countries began to settle this area and grapes were planted for the first time in the late 1840s.
  • Due to the remote nature of this region, most large corporations have exited, leaving the growing of Vitis Viniferas grapes to small, family farms. Many of these small farms have come together to form a support system of sorts. These small operations were the first cooperative to agree to all move to using screw caps to preserve the purity of their Rieslings.
  • Given its latitude, this region really shouldn’t produce such amazing Rieslings. However, with average elevations between 1,300 and 1,870 feet, and the constant breeze off the gulfs to the west and the south, fruit of this quality are possible in this small pocket of the world.
  • In the early 1980’s, the Ash Wednesday Brushfires burned nearly 6,200 hectares (approx. 15,000 acres) taking out the only railway system running through this rural area. The locals turned this major natural disaster into an opportunity by creating The Riesling Trail; a 35km hiking and biking trail, linking all the villages of the valley together.
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