Clare Valley’s restaurants and food outlets make a point of offering ingredients and products that are either locally-grown or locally-made. And for good reason.
The landscapes are not only idyllic; they’re also lush and fertile. The local growers understand that clean and green means flavour: ‘organic’ and ‘grain-fed’ are not exercises in branding, they’re sources of pride and guarantees of good old-fashioned taste.
Many of Clare Valley’s gourmet food producers have returned to time-honoured means of food processing. At their various farm-shops, cellar doors and outlets you can see them using antique presses that render olive oil extra-virgin, real grindstones that retain the goodness of wheatgerm, and of course that most trustworthy of machines in the production of gourmet sausages, chutneys, relishes and mustards – the hand.
Whether you're looking for breakfast, lunch or dinner - you really are spoilt for choice. You could try a pub like the historic Wheatsheaf with its great menu and funky arthouse décor, or the Magpie and Stump in Mintaro that still uses its 1854 oven. You could try a cellar door restaurant like Mt Horrocks which is housed in an old railway station, or the Skillogalee farmhouse with its views to dine for. You could even take a cooking course at the renowned Thornhill Park under the tutelage of chef David Hay.
Alternatively you could experience everything the region has to offer during the astonishing gastronomic blow-out that is the Clare Gourmet Weekend. This was Australia’s very first regional food and wine festival, and it’s still the finest. During this May weekend, you’ll join 15,000 merry-makers as they savour the flavours from Clare Valley’s many food producers, restaurateurs and wine-makers.