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Visitors are lured to the Clare Valley by the region’s world-class wines and they have high expectations of their wine experience.  With this in mind, the Clare wine industry has launched Clare Valley Rocks, a project which allows tourists to discover the earth beneath the vines.

Wine is a matter of taste, but where does that taste come from?  Well it starts with the rocks and the soil which combined with many other factors in the vineyard, the winery and the history of the bottle, contributes to the goût de terroir of the finished wine.  This French expression describes the characteristic taste and flavor imparted to a wine by the environment in which it is produced.

This project invites visitors to discover how different rocks and soils play a role in the wine you taste.  Visitors are able to pick up a CVR brochure and map at cellar doors throughout the region and explore the 12 interpretive geological sites situated around the Clare Valley, each site displaying a predominant geological feature.  Wine tourists can also visit many wineries in the Clare Valley and find examples of their dominant soil profiles on display which relate directly to the wines that are offered for tasting.  Soil sampling at more than 50 vineyard sites throughout the valley was carried out to provide these profiles.

Project sponsors Clare Valley Winemakers Incorporated and Clare Region Winegrape Growers Association say it is a landmark undertaking, describing the soils and its underlying geology as the foundation of the Clare Valley’s wine industry.

Clare Region Winegrape Growers Association President Troy van Dulken said, from a grape growing perspective, it was great to see what lay underneath the vines and gave visitors to the Clare valley an insight into the enormous variation of soil types and the challenges for growers that brought with it.

“It also underlies the great job that grape growers do, growing amazing quality grapes for the winemakers to turn into liquid expressions of the Clare Valley,” he said.

More detailed information can be found at the Clare Valley Rocks website, including detailed information on the soils, climate and geology of the Clare Valley and its ground water flow.

clarevalleyrocks.com.au

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Vice President: Ben Mitchell
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