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Classy Clare

IMG_4174Growing up in the country, there is nothing more comforting than hearing the “moo” of a cow to wake you up in the morning. That’s exactly what I got on my first day in the Clare Valley, about 100 kilometres north of Adelaide, South Australia. Nestled in amongst the vines at the only remaining Jesuit-owned winery in Australia, Sevenhill Cellars, I pulled back the curtains to see a Hereford inquisitively staring back at me.

Close to 30 millimetres of rainfall in the last week has covered the paddocks in a green blanket, but nothing to keep a hungry herd of cattle at bay. Hay for the animals and a wood fired bacon and egg pizza washed down with a Jim Barry riesling at Clos Clare certainly did the trick for me.

It was indeed the Clare Valley riesling producers that went out on a controversial limb and introduced the screw cap into Australia for their beloved fresh and delicate grape variety. A move spurred on by the cork taint that was happening at a rate of somewhere between seven and 12 per cent.

So anyway, back to my 20 kilometre bike ride in a dress and heels (only on the Riesling Trail)… a trail which was originally part of the railway line that ran between Riverton and Spalding but was abandoned after the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires.

Up to one end of the trail for the Franklin Harbour oysters at Mad Bastard Wines and down to Jeanneret for the sustainably-farmed alpaca burgers and good vibes coming from the “lounge room” literally set up amongst the beer vats of the neighbouring Clare Valley Brewing Co.

I must go now to harvest the trees in the Sevenhill Cellars’ orchard laden with ripe oranges and figs. A place where learning where your food comes from is inevitable and food education is unavoidable.

“It’s lovely to invite people on retreats here and provide them with wine and fresh food directly grown on the property,” says Father Michael Ryan.

The sun is setting and it’s time to put the chooks to bed. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. One thing is for certain. Fresh eggs for breakfast!

Louise FitzRoy
Founder | From Paddock to Plate

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