Go with someone in the know.
First time out to the wineries, > You want to know How to do a Cellar Door Wine Tasting? Wine tasting can be intimidating for those wanting to go out for a tasting but know nothing about Wine. We all know a Wine Snob and how they can waffle on about back palates, hints of cherry, acidity gorgeous aromatics etc etc
The rules are really quite simple, ‘You’ll either Like a wine or you Won’t”. Forget all you may have heard about Best Shiraz, Worlds Best Riesling and all of the other accolades placed on bottles. You only have to make your taste buds happy, that’s all that counts.
How do Judges assess wine?
Judges scoring a wine use a set criteria, It’s an Objective tasting.
3 points for sight – Clarity -depth – intensity
7 points for nose – initial aroma- bouquet – fruit character
10 points for palate – flavour – complexity – balance – length
They add up their points and awrd accordingly
18.5- 20 points = Gold Medal, outstanding quality
17-18.4 points = Silver medal Excellent standard
15.5-16.9 points = bronze Medal, very good wine for its class.
How to do a Cellar Door Wine Tasting
You don’t need to know any of the terms or be intimidated by the sophistication that can be found in the industry.
This is the best way to do a Cellar Door Wine Tasting.
I suggest going to a smaller boutique cellar door, they are usually much friendlier and have more time for you. Be honest and say you dont know anything and ask to be guided through a tasting. A good cellar door peson will quickly work out your palate by you telling them what you like or don’t like and they will lead you to try different wines.
Let you taste buds do the talking, make it a simple as you can, You can always learn more latter if you want.
Go on a tour, ie, a Clare UnCorked tour and ask your guide to help you find the best cellar doors to introduce you to new experiences.
Simply enjoy your day out
Go out and enjoy the ambience of the regions, remember, its all about you, what you like. Thats all that matters. All of the chatter about wine, aroma, chocolates, raspberries, lemon, citrus etc, is only background noise. You are the only judge that really counts. Hope this helps, Cheers, Dave
LIFESTYLE. by Gabriel Jones
Dave Willson is the quintessential Aussie bloke. He loves a chat, sharing a joke, and his smile is as wide as the brim on his hat.
Most people around the Clare Valley know him as Mr Willson – it started as a joke and more a tribute to his sense of humour than any desire from him for formalities.
A true character, the affable bloke has built up a tour company, Clare Valley Tours, selling the virtues of the Clare Valley and South Australia to domestic and international visitors.
It is an easy sell according to Mr Willson, who was born and bred in the Clare Valley, the son of veterinarians, he spent his early years exploring the area on ponies.
“I’ve always had a wonderful affinity with the Clare Valley, it’s my home, and when I became involved in tourism I realised how much passion I have for our region,” he says.
“Being a local and transitioning into a tour operator makes you look at your home in a different light – you actually stop and smell the roses instead of driving past and you realise we really are sitting in one of the nicest, safest places to live in the world and it’s a real privilege.”
A former wool classer, excavation contractor (he was the local gravedigger), private wool buyer and machinery salesperson, a recreational pilot and former chairman of the Clare Aerodrome, Mr Willson knows a thing or two about the area.
So it’s no surprise that when he took on the tour business in 2012, his local knowledge and loveable nature helped him easily build a rapport with his guests.
With two small buses and a chauffeured car, Clare Valley Tours is gaining a reputation for quality, tailored tours of the Clare Valley, Mid North and through to the Flinders Ranges. A quick read through Trip Advisor uncovers comments including “delightful, funny and very knowledgeable … a local treasure”.
Clare Valley Tours recently achieved Quality Tourism Accredited Business status, has current Trip Advisor Certificates of Excellence, and is part of the South Australian Tourism Commission emerging products program, a mentoring initiative which assists operators into new markets.
With departures from either Adelaide, Clare Valley or other areas, Mr Willson’s Clare Valley Tours offers guests either package or individualised tours.
He says SA has so much to offer and promises his tours are “no ordinary show”.
An avid reader, Mr Willson continually expands his local knowledge to ensure he can offer his passengers an insider’s view of a region, sometimes going off the beaten track to ensure they see the very best parts of SA.
In fact, don’t be surprised if you find yourself travelling down the bumpy Civilisation Lost Road, onto Dusty Creek Road and end up on World’s End Highway – real places, all with a story to tell.
“We actually live in Utopia here in SA,” he says.
“So many people think the Clare Valley is about the wines, it’s not just wine though, it’s the whole Clare Valley experience – the wineries, the restaurants, the shop owners, agriculture, the vast history and stories from the past and present, the people, and good old-fashioned country hospitality.”
“Nearby there’s Burra which has such an important part in SA’s history and loaded with historical buildings, and Goyder’s Line – the 10-inch rainfall zone where the vineyards virtually meet the outback.
“Just north we’ve got the majestic Flinders Ranges and the Clare Valley is the gateway to them. I hear it so often, people wished they had more time, they didn’t know the Clare Valley and the area around here is so beautiful, that there is so much history, there’s so much to see, do and explore.
“I love being able to share it and if I can send my guests home happy, I’m very happy – I’ve created a lifestyle, not a job.”
This story was first published by Brand South Australia for the Regional Showcase.
So much more than a Wine Tour
If I had a dollar for every time on a Clare Valley Wine Tour I heard “It’s so pretty”, “I wish I had more time”, I didn’t know that”, “I didn’t realise”, “So much history”. I wouldn’t have to charge for Tours. You get the picture.
Clare Valley is one of those regions that grows on you as you discover it. I am a life time local and the Valley is still offering it’s secrets to me.
For you, the best way to see Clare Valley is to join A Clare Valley Wine Tour, Clare UnCorked with a winery lunch. This can be booked as a Shared Tour or as an exclusive Private Tour. Local pick-up or from Adelaide. I follow an itinerary of sorts, I tend to mould the tour to the guests.
Clare Valley Wine Tours from Clare
At Clare Valley Tours we offer a broad range of experiences. A lot of the tours obviously revolve around Food and Wine. Great for some and too much for others so we then do a compilation of history, the early settlers and anecdotal tales, of course with a Winery lunch with a glass of wine
Clare Valley Historical and Heritage Tours
The Nomads Tour is very popular with the inquisitive and curious traveller. Martindale Hall, Sevenhill Cellars, John Ainsworth Horrocks and how Clare came to be settled. We also offer Bungaree and Burra UnEarthed following the history of the Monster mine and early sheep squatters in the district.
The Smiths wrote on Tripadvisor
Clare Valley Wine & History Tours Dave Willson has a wealth of knowledge on the history of Clare which was fascinating. He was also our chauffeur to dinner and town as we didn’t have vehicles and on the second day we did a boutique winery tour of the area. Excellent wit and charm and we would recommend his tours to everyone. We thought Clare was just another wine growing region of SA and how wrong were we!