Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Clare Valley

I left McClaren Vale at 8am on Tuesday morning and drove north towards Clare Valley. They told me the trip would only take about 2 hours, but I got lost in Adelaide and didn’t arrive in Clare until 11am – just in time for my second appointment with the Annie’s Lane winemaker. He let me taste 6 different Rieslings from different vintages and terroirs – which were quite fascinating. We went through the complete winemaking process, but they were unable to show me the winery because the wine is made at Blass in the Barossa. Transporting the wine to another processing location is quite common for larger wineries in Australia. The vineyards were also off limit, because they were much further up the hill.

The next visit was CrabTree across the street, which is a small boutique winery specializing in riesling and tempranillo. Colin recommended that I stop by here and called ahead so they were expecting me. I was thrilled to be able to talk with the owners and winemaker and was able to see the Riesling vineyards and winery. They explained that reason Clare was able to achieve the distinctive and appealing lime note was not because of the soil, but because of the higher altitude and cool evenings. I really enjoyed tasting through the wonderful wines and talking with the very friendly owners.

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