Clare Valley

Clare Valley SCA Gourmet Week celebrates 40 Years with a new glamping village, gala dinner, and exclusive wine events

Clare Valley SCA Gourmet Week marks its 40th anniversary with a tent city accommodation, exclusive wine events, and a once-in-a-decade Hall of Fame Gala Dinner. Discover what makes this 10-day festival a must-visit for wine lovers.

2023 Clare Valley SCA Gourmet Week. Picture Matt Turner

Clare Valley SCA Gourmet Week is celebrating its 40th anniversary, kicking off the festivities this Friday. The anniversary coincides with notable celebrations, including the 50th anniversary of Knappstein Wines and Mitchell Wines. Mitchell Wines, notably, was integral to the very first Gourmet event 40 years ago.

This year, Clare Valley Racing Club has introduced a novel accommodation solution by offering a ‘tent city’ at the Clare Valley Racecourse. Here, visitors can choose to stay in Bell Tents equipped with double and single stretcher foam beds from Friday to Sunday. This initiative was designed to address the high demand for local accommodation during the festival’s kickoff weekend.

During the Gourmet Festival Weekend, a special Clare Valley Wine Hall of Fame Gala Dinner and Awards Presentation will take place at O’Leary Walker Wines on Friday 24 May. The evening will acknowledge four categories: Rising Star, Viticulturist, Regional Ambassador, and Winemaker. The event will also see the induction of Legends into the Clare Valley Wine Hall of Fame. Occurring just once every ten years, the tickets for the gala are currently available to the public.

To facilitate safe travel around the valley, a Shuttle Bus service will be provided, making stops through Adelaide, Elizabeth, and Gawler before traversing the Clare Valley region loop. This is aimed at ensuring that all attendees can enjoy the festival’s offerings without the concerns of driving.

Nick Ryan, the Gourmet Ambassador and a notable Australian wine writer, shared his enthusiasm for the festival, “I spend my life travelling to the greatest wine regions across the globe, and there is only one that I choose to call home. The Clare Valley is quintessentially Australian and a special part of the world. The wineries here consistently deliver phenomenal wine and Gourmet Week is a great opportunity to experience everything this region has to offer, and I can guarantee you will have a great time doing it,” he said.

The 10-day festival offers a variety of experiences spread over three main segments: Festival Weekend (17-19 May), Breathe It In (20-24 May), and Land of the Long Lunch (25-26 May). This weekend aligns with Claymore Wines hosting a live music event, and The UPPside Restaurant introducing Chef Christian Uppill for a distinct culinary offering.

Among other highlighted events, guests can enjoy Reillys Wines’ new event, which includes a relaxed artisan lunch, and an intimate tasting event at Greg Cooley Wines. The festival concludes with the Land of the Long Lunch, presenting opportunities for dining over extended periods amidst scenic views, such as the Taylor Wines’ Autumn Long Lunch.

Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison, said “Events like this help drive demand, bolster the region’s profile and build pride across the local community and I am very proud to support it through the Regional Event Fund.”

Visitors are encouraged to check accommodations and shuttle services ahead of time, as demand is high and some options have already sold out.

For more detailed information on the festival’s schedules and accommodations, visit clarevalleygourmet.com.au.

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