The Big Lap - Clare Valley Wine Country



Clare Valley - Wine & Platters.  Ahhhh, heaven!  
😎  😍 🍷

More about that later.



Silo Art @ Wirrabara

I had planned for us to stay for a couple of nights at Wirrabara.  We arrived earlyish and hubby wanted to continue to Clare.  Hey, no problem.  It meant an extra 2 nights in wine country.
😉 😜

We checked out the Silo Art here, very nice.

I had read there is a good bakery in Wirrabara, so we had a home made pie each at Julia's Kitchen.
I would recommend it.



This is a quaint town.

I had read that Laura was where I could find the C J Dennis Poet Statue.  

So I had to get hubby to stop to take a photo.  Well the Statue one didn't turn out well, so that is in Windows bin heaven.  But I managed to take another shot of him and family which is nice.  Plus a pic of the lovely main street.

In year 5 of Primary School, we had a teacher that introduced us to some fantastic poems.
C J Dennis wasn't my favourite.  He wrote The Triantiwontigoggolope which most people have heard of.     However, my favourite was Hist.  Check out the link.  I would describe it like expressive dance.  We would read it with animated expression using different tones and sound, including lively face and hands animation.

Now that I am having a poetry reminscence, below are two funny poems you just have to read!



We stayed at the Discovery Park in Clare.  Finally we decided to join Discovery Parks as we have always had a good experience with them.  It's $50 for 1 year membership which gives you 10% off each time you stay.  We already saved $21 by staying here.  Plus we can use our membership at Coles Fuel Stations and much more that I am yet to discover.  

The Clare Discovery Caravan Park has a lovely park land.  Just 10 minutes north of town and right next door to the Clare Valley Wine, Food and Tourist Centre.  



Photo Taken using Cameringo Lite Free Camera

Photo Taken using Cameringo Lite Free Camera

Clare town itself was disappointing.  We expected to see more gift shops, boutiques and el fresco streetside dining.  We had a couple of drinks at the main Hotel and asked for their opinion on where we could find a winery with the best platter.  Unfortunately, the young girl behind the bar did not have a clue.  That in itself would tell you that the pub should be more selective in it's hiring.  After all, this is wine country, and visitors are going to ask these sort of questions.

Anyway, we found a restaurant in town a few doors up called Seed.

Hubby was in his element.  Pizza!!!  And he raved about it!
I had a meat and cheese platter.  I had to choose the meat and cheeses.  I chose 2 cheeses and 1 meat at $10 each and they supplied the bread and pickled veg to go with it.  It was very nice, but I would have ditched the pickled veg and supply olives and olive oil/balsamic dip instead.

Anyway, I would recommend Seed.



I had 4 wineries picked, however invariably nothing goes to plan.

After checking out a lovely art gallery, we just happened to come across a winery that we have visited before for lunch overlooking a lake - Eldridge Winery.  Years ago when we lived for 6 months in Jamestown, we came here and had a wonderful long afternoon lunch overlooking the lake.  They don't do lunch anymore.

We stopped for tastings.  Be warned, they charge $5 for 5 tastings.  However we felt it was worth it as you get to sit down and select a rug from the rug basket and they bring out your choice of wines in a paddle.  It is very tastefully done and the lovely lady was nice and friendly.  

Well I wasn't really fussed with their wines.  Eldridge is an old and respected winery that does good wine in bulk (bit like McWilliams), but not great boutique wines which is what I was specifically looking forward to tasting.  So after spending way too much money for my liking (hubby just goes to town buying wine lol), we moved on.  Sorry no pix of Eldridge.

We headed to a small town called Auburn as hubby wanted to take a photo of the Hotel named House of the Rising Sun.  I snapped off a couple of pix of the quaint town.



Ahhh yes, the devine platter that you saw above.  💖

Whilst googling best platters in Clare Valley, I came across O'Leary Walker Winery so we headed there, a flash winery on the hill overlooking acres of vinyards.  Unfortunately, when we arrived they were closed for lunch, hosting a bus load of people from the Ghan Rail trip.  



Anyway, turns out that O'Leary did us a favour, thanks.  😁

We headed inland towards Mintaro.

What a pleasant surprise!  Mintaro is a quaint country village with beautiful old stone buildings.

We chose to pull up at Reilly's Winery.  WoW!  Pick my jaw up off the ground!!  Reilly's had the BEST platter in the Clare Valley.  We found it!!

Opposite was a pub that I had seen also - The Magpie & Stump Hotel.  What a shame we couldn't have come back.  But anyway, Reilly's was our Clare Valley Highlight.  And additional to the platter, the wines were supurb.  You can see in the photo below, the owner just loves all aspects of wine production.  He is passionate about it.  So much so, that he comes up regularly from Adelaide and is hands on, making sure every aspect of Reilly's is perfect including the wine.  That is what makes a boutique winery succeed year after year.  Word of mouth is powerful, along with receiving the best of the best!

And if that is not enough to sway you.... get this!!
The platter was $35.  We like to share.  The platter included 1 glass of your choice of wine.

But, wait, there's more .....  if you purchased 6 bottles of wine, the platter was FREE!  What?  Really?

So consequently, we had no problem buying 6 bottles of wine here, and got our amazing platter free.  Sitting beside the roaring fire with a glass of red and eating prawns, king fish, fresh hot home made bread, olive oil/balsamic, olives etc.  Ahhhhh, heaven!!



So this is one of the wineries I had picked to check out as I had heard about them before.  Shut the Gate Winery was not far from the caravan park so we called in on our way home.

The other wineries were O'Leary Walker that thank goodness were closed for the day, Jim Barry which we have visited before and know their wines, Mad Bastard winery which is owned by the son of Jim Barry.  Oh well.....  

And Shut the Gate.

Well the wines were ok.  Not the boutique value that we got from Reilly's.  However they had some great Providore chutneys, sauces, spicy panko crumbs etc.  We bought a few.
The atmosphere was nice so I would recommend paying a visit to Shut the Gate.



Hubby found another place where there was Silo Art so I did not hesitate in saying 'Yes, let's go check it out'.  

The small village of Farrell is home of one of the most colourful Art Silos that we have seen thus far.  The artists used 150 litres and took 140 hours to do it.  WoW!!  Impressive!

The Pub looked pretty good too.  Unfortunately, we arrived too early for opening time.



There's something about small towns and annual events.   Every Tom, Dick, Harry and the Dog has to be there and be seen.  I love country festivals! 😁

So here in Clare, we had 2 to choose from.  The Races or the Rodeo.  Unfortunately the Rodeo was a bit too far, so it was the horse races.  Hubby's dad said that he did not ride here .....  unfortunately.

Anyway, what a day!!  I got dressed up in my jeans, cowgirl hat and boots.  Ready to impress at the 2021 Clare Valley Cup lol.

The track was so scenic, with vines in the distance and nice green grass.  We got our cameras out and tried to take some photos, however the excitement of the day just overpowered my shots.  Not good, but we both had a great day all the same.  



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