Image Credit: Paulett Wines
Perhaps one of South Australia’s greatest cycling trails is the Clare Valley Riesling trail, which allows you to marvel at the gorgeous countryside all while enjoying the finest drops of wine from some of SA’s best wineries.
While the trail is friendly for all pushbike novices, the journey spans 35km and is prone to patchy internet service, so it can be hard to find a place to park your bike (or feet) for a bite to eat in-between winery visits.
That’s why we’ve come up with a guide to where is best to eat along the Riesling Trail, so whether you are searching for a baked good or craving an indulgent meal, you’ll never go hungry.
To avoid missing out on lunch, it is recommended you plan out your journey ahead of time and call to book a place to eat, particularly during school holidays and weekends.
Clare Rise Bakery, 12 Main North Road, Clare
Looking for some pre-cycle carbs? Clare Rise Bakery has got you covered. Enjoy all the bakery classics, from chunky beef pies to traditional vegetarian pasties, as well as homemade pastries, donuts sweet treats. Takeaway the fresh baked goods to enjoy along the trail, or chill out before your journey and re-fuel your caffeine levels in-store with a hot cup of coffee.
The bakery is one of the first spots you’ll travel past when departing from Clare and is open Monday to Saturday 8am – 2pm.
Visit Clare Rise Bakery’s Facebook to find out more.
Shut the Gate, 8453 Main North Road, Clare
The gorgeous Clare Valley winery offers customers wander through the mouth-watering Shut the Gate providore shop where the walls are lined with gooey cheeses, smoky and spicy meats, dips and pastes. Select your favourite items from the store and allow the friendly staff to create a board exploding with local flavours.
Enjoy your handcrafted board outside in the sunshine in the Shut the Gate atrium, or stretch your weary legs on their luscious green lawns. For the cooler months relax in front of the fire on the winery’s comfy couches.
Shut the Gate is open 10am, seven days a week for all your DIY picnic needs.
Mr Mick’s Cellar Door and Kitchen, 7 Dominic Street, Clare
Embracing a tapas style of dining, Mr Mick’s menu is created to be shared and celebrated with friends, family and several glasses of wine. Explore and savor the superb food and wine from the Clare Valley region within the contemporary venue.
Can’t decide what to eat? Allow the chefs and winemakers to pick their favourite dishes from the menu that perfectly pair with a drop from the cellar door.
Situated on a luscious green property, restaurant, and cellar door rests where the historic Stanley Wines first opened their doors. This site is where the winery derives its name – from Mr. Mick Knappstein, the winemaking legend from the Clare Valley.
Mr Mick’s kitchen is open daily for lunch from 12pm and for dinner on Friday nights.
Visit Mr Mick’s website to stay up to date.
Sevenhill and Penwortham
Little Red Grape, 148 Main North Road, Sevenhill
Looking for something more grab and go while stopping in Sevenhill? Little Red Grape is the perfect place to grab a quick bite before you continue on your travels. With fresh, hot pies and pasties, croissants, meat and salad rolls, and plenty of sweet baked goods to treat yourself with, it’s an ideal stop-over. There are a few wineries nearby so you can enjoy a tasting before or after your nibble!
To find out more, visit the Little Red Grape Facebook or call 08 8843 4088
Sevenhill Cellars, 111c College Road, Sevenhill
Create your own platter built from local Clare Valley and regional SA produce when you visit the historic Sevenhill cellar door. Enjoy your handpicked selection of delectable meats, cheeses and other tasty goods as you rest your weary legs on the expansive winery lawns.
Situated on 90-hectares of vines, Sevenhill cellars is the oldest winery in the Clare Valley region and home to the St Aloysius Church. The property is centered on a tree-lined village green where you can enjoy a glass of Shiraz, Pinot Gris, and of course – Riesling.
Visit Sevenhill Cellar’s website to find out more
Sevenhill Hotel, Main North Road, Sevenhill
Supplying you with that ‘good old country service’, Sevenhill hotel is the historic, family-owned pub in the heart of the Clare Valley region. The hotel’s menu showcases not only classic pub feeds like schnitzels and squid, but finer items like the sesame-crusted Atlantic salmon.
Enjoy your food inside the historic walls of the 150-year-old hotel or rest your tired legs in the beer garden, while you bask in the sunshine. The venue is perfect for families tackling the trail, with giant Jenga for the young (or those still young) to play outside.
Sevenhill hotel has been awarded the best dining in country SA 4 years in a row, leaving the pub a perfect place to stop for a bite to eat!
To book, head online to the Sevenhill website or call 08 8843 4217.
Pauletts Wines, 752 Jolly Way, Polish Hill River
Paulett Wines believes that good food deserves good wine, and that is precisely what they have done when creating their Bush DeVine Restaurant. Celebrating the seasonal variety of the Clare Valley region, the menu showcases local produce, ‘bushtucker’ flavours and their own Australian native garden. Each dish pairs perfectly with a variety of Paulett’s wines, so you can wine and dine in perfect harmony.
After something smaller and boozier? Paulett’s has created a wine flight paired canapés straight from the Bush DeVine kitchen for $35.
To book head to Paulett Wines website.
Watervale Hotel, 37 Main North Road, Watervale
Visit the newly renovated Watervale Hotel is a comfortable spot to enjoy some lunch before continuing on your ride.
The menu rotates seasonally, with all produce deriving from the hotel’s organic, bio-dynamic Penobscot farm. Watervale Hotel thrives on fresh, unique produce, taking their customers on a culinary trail of the finest local produce and wine. The venue also features an outdoor pizza and empanada oven and occasionally a ‘fires of hell’ Argentinian Asado-style BBQ.
The hotel award-winning hotel is open seven days a week from 11am to 9pm.
Visit the Watervale Hotel website to book a table, or call 08 8843 0229
Watervale General Store, 29 Main North Road, Watervale
Searching for some light refreshments and local food? Watervale General Store has you covered! Apart from being the local grocer and post office, the store serves up tasty sandwiches, burgers and locally made or iconic Villi’s pastries – perfect for that mid-ride energy top-up.
The store is open from 8am until 5pm Monday to Friday, and closes at 1pm on the weekends.
O’Leary Walker Wines, 7093 Horrocks Highway, Leasingham
At the heart of the O’Leary Walker restaurant lies the best of SA produce, where local flavours shine throughout dishes on their rotating seasonal menu. Currently, their winter menu showcases hearty and slow-cooked dishes, from lamb ragout with pappardelle to beef striploin with Shiraz jus.
If you’re after something a little lighter before completing your day of bike riding, share a gourmet platter amongst friends brimming with local cheeses, smoky meats, paste, fruit and nuts. O’Leary Walker also offers a kid’s menu, so everyone can enjoy a bite to eat at the Leasingham vineyard.
The restaurant is open from Thursday to Sunday with three sitting (11am-1pm, 12pm-2pm and 1:30-3pm). Enjoy a gourmet platter seven days a week from 10am until 3pm.
To book a table, visit the O’Leary Walker Wines website
Cogwebs Hub Café, 30 Main North Road, Auburn
Based on the Southern start of the Riesling Trail is Cogwebs Hub Café, the one-stop shop for all your bakery and coffee needs. Enjoy homemade pastries, sausage rolls and cakes all made from ‘seriously good’ local SA produce. Cogwebs café also offers an array of gluten-free options and other perfect pieces for a picnic along the trail.
The café hires out bikes for those wanting to cycle the trail and detailed information about the duration, so you’ll know exactly what to expect before heading out on your ride. Due to current COVID restrictions, booking in advance is recommended. Call 0400 290 687 to book.
Visit the Cogwebs Hub Café Facebook page to stay up to date.
Rising Sun Hotel, 19 Main North Road, Auburn
Reveling in the old country charm of the 169-year-old pub, the Rising Sun Hotel offers up a selection of classic pub feeds, sharing plates, and dinners that’ll fill the belly of all hungry bike riders. Enjoy an array of burgers, creamy pasta, or steak while drinking one of the many locally made beer, wine, and ciders in their beer garden. For some smaller nibbles, the pub also serves a smallgoods platter and oysters
The hotel caters to vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free individuals – so no one will miss out on a spectacular meal!
To book call 0888 492 015, or find out more on the Rising Star Hotel website.
Velvet & Willow Wines and Pantry, 17 Main North Road, Auburn
Adjacent to Velvet & Willow Wines resides the winery’s pantry, a brilliant spot to hop off the bikes and enjoy a glass of Riesling, an artisan coffee or light lunch. Surrounded by a bustling green garden, the quaint pantry and cellar door is an idyllic location to rest your weary legs after a long day’s ride. Refresh your energy levels with a slice of homemade cake, granola bowl or a gooey toastie made on fresh ciabatta.
The pantry is open for lunch all week long and closes at 2pm. Velvet and Willow’s cellar door operates across the weekend from 12:30pm until 5:30pm.
To find out more, visit Velvet & Willow’s website.
Off the beaten track
Slate Restaurant, 223 Polish Hill Road, Sevenhill
Inside the popular Pikes Winery is Slate Restaurant, the fine-dining foodie experience overlooking the region’s rolling vineyards. Utilising the local produce from the region and Pikes kitchen garden, the Slate Restaurant showcases the best flavours of the Clare Valley Region with their delicious dishes.
Pick from the array of dishes on the a la carte menu, or indulge in a selected three-course meal for $75. Pikes array of wine can be matched to the flavours of your meal for an extra $30. Just a prior warning – Pikes is located
The restaurant is open from Thursday through to Sunday from 12pm until 3pm.
To book, head to the Pikes Slate Restaurant website.
Pikes Beer Company, 223 Polish Hill Road, Sevenhill
Adjacent to Pikes Winery resides Pikes Beer Co, the little brother of the much-loved vineyard. The brewhouse serves up classic cheeseburgers, fish and chips and nibbles outside in their alfresco dining area. There are options for children too, so hungry tummies and picky eaters won’t miss out.
Chill out on the spacious lawns in front of the fishpond and enjoy a glass of Pikes wine or beer in one of SA’s many sunny afternoons. The outdoor dining area has minimal outdoor cover, so it’s best to visit when the weather isn’t wet and wild.
To find out more, head to the Pikes Beer Co website.
Once you’ve hung up your cycling shoes for the day and the lactic acid has begun to kick in, there’s no better way to treat yourself than with a fancy meal and a glass of the valley’s premium wine.
Seed, 268 Main North Road, Clare Valley
The contemporary deli, bistro, and rooftop restaurant deliver relaxed regional dining while showcasing the unique flavors of the Clare Valley region. By day, enjoy a wood-fired pizza on top of the rooftop and marvel at the 180-degree view of Clare. By night, enjoy an array of shared plates that champion the simple, quality ingredients from the valley while you indulge in your favorite wine you discovered earlier that day.
Umbria, 308b Main North Road, Clare
Satisfy all your Italian cravings at Umbria, the eatery that embraces the traditions and methods from the Tuscany Valley in the heart of Italy. Tuck into house-made pasta and pizza as Umbria marries local flavours with the Italian dishes. Enjoy a glass of wine from the local area, or the deeper Italian varieties to enhance your culinary experience. Bookings are not required but recommended.
The restaurant is open Tuesday through to Sunday from 5:30pm-8:30pm.
Call 08 8812 1718 to book, or keep up to date on Umbria’s Facebook.
And there you have it, a guide to the best spots for lunch along the Clare Valley Reisling Trail.
To find out more information about the Resiling Trail, visit the official website.