Heading to the Clare Valley? You simply can't go past the Cardinham Estate.
Located at the northern end of the Clare Valley and famous for its award winning Rieslings, this is one cellar door worth visiting. Upon our arrival we were met by Noel who owns the vineyard along with his two sons. We soon realised that we weren't going to get away with tasting the Rieslings alone, (no complaints here!) and that we wouldn't be leaving any time soon.
Having been to the Barossa Valley and the Yarra Valley, I have grown accustomed to such wine tastings where you're in and out having tasted two or three of the wines on offer. Don't think that this is the same experience...
After running out of the wines available for tastings, Noel continued to show us through the vineyard, including a lesson or two on fine wine, tastings out of the barrels themselves, and also some great stories along the way!
Around 3 hours later and utterly unable to drive anywhere, we found ourselves sitting with Noel as he enjoyed his lunch and told us more of the past and future of the estate.
As for the wines themselves, I don't think that I've experienced a place that excelled in so many different wines. I'm personally not a huge Riesling fan myself, but his Cabinet Sauvignon and Shiraz were real winners and I think that as the 2003 winner of the Best Riesling in the world, they must be doing something right!
The prices vary, but are all very reasonable and as for most cellar doors, are cheaper that in the local bottle shop. If I could recommend one bottle that really spoke to me, it would be the Sradbrooke Shiraz which was a little more pricey, but worth every penny.