As you meander down the main street of the Clare Valley, SA, you’ll see a building rising above the others. That is the Knappstein Enterprise Winery cellar door – a heritage-listed building erected in 1878. It was the original site of Clare Valley’s first brewery, Enterprise Brewery, before being taken over by a soft drink company in the 1900s and finally being established as a winery by Tim Knappstein in 1976.
“Our winery is part of the fabric of the Clare Valley,” says senior winemaker, Michael Kane. “Our cellar door is part of the town.”
Whether you’re tasting at the cellar door or drinking at home, Michael likes to think that when you raise a glass of his wine you’ll be transported to the vineyard where the grapes were grown. “We’re really focused on enhancing the elements that the vineyard gives us so that when people pick up a glass, they see the vineyard in the glass,” he says. “Our wines have a lot of the personality and character of the vineyards.”
What you’re tasting is the diverse soil and ideal weather conditions of the region that help produce great wines. “It’s just a lovely climate,” Michael says “We’re sitting around 500 metres above sea level, which gives us these really nice cool nights to balance out those warm days. The vines get to rest and relax at night and they stop accumulating sugars and carbohydrates, but retain that bright, fresh acidity.”
Once you’ve walked through the town, make sure you stop in at Knappstein’s cellar door. You can do tastings, blending sessions, enjoy a concert, or just enjoy the heritage building while you soak up the rich history of the area. Here are our top picks for what to taste from the single-vineyard and Clare Valley ranges.
Knappstein Ackland Vineyard Riesling The Clare Valley is known for producing some of Australia’s best rieslings. This one is a single vineyard riesling with all of the intense flavours and light floral elements that the region is famous for. “This leaves your tastebuds celebrating, really working and really wanting more of that lovely riesling flavour,” Michael says.
Knappstein Riesling This is the estate blend that uses fruit from across all of Knappstein’s riesling vineyards. “It showcases lovely citrus lime and lemon type flavours and aromas,” Michael says.
Knappstein Cabernet Sauvignon This is a medium-bodied red wine with lots of richness and flavour that’s perfect with food when it’s young but can also go in the cellar for some age. “Clare Valley cabernet is a really beautiful expression of the variety,” Michael says. “It showcases quite ripe cabernet characters with a beautiful soft tannin profile.”
Products featured are available from 11/10/23 to 14/11/23, while stocks last. Some products or varieties featured may not be available in all stores.