Spanning the 35 kilometres between Clare and Auburn, and about two hours drive from Adelaide, cyclists consider the Riesling Trail to be one of the best bike trails near Adelaide, dare we say one of the best bike trails in South Australia?
No bicycle? No problem. Bike hire is available at a variety of locations along the trail. And while balancing wine bottles on a bicycle isn’t recommended, cellar door purchases can be shipped to your accommodation in the Clare Valley or home.
You’ll need a minimum of 2.5 hours to cycle the Riesling Trail but factor in extra time to truly enjoy this stretch of countryside and cellar door hospitality along the way. There’s also plenty of places to stop and learn about the Indigenous history of the Ngadjuri people via storyboards along the trail.
Jump in the saddle and pedal your way to Clare, crossing the bridge at the River Wakefield as you watch the countryside change, and start off with a stop at a cellar door such as nearby Knappstein Winery and Brewery. Before venturing on, fuel up for the ride ahead at Umbria Rustic, Seed Street Diner or Mr Mick Cellar Door and Kitchen.
Roughly 6kms further, take a detour at Sevenhill where a fresh Riesling (what else?) awaits at Mitchell Wines along John Horrocks Road. Wind through the vineyards of the historic Sevenhill Cellars and St Aloysius Church, the Clare Valley’s first winery from 1851. Here sacramental wine is still produced for the majority of Australian churches. If beer’s more your style, a refreshing brew awaits at Pikes Beer Company.
Keep pedalling into Watervale with its variety of wineries, a pub and the perfect spot to recharge and rest your weary legs, the Watervale General Store. It’s a charming mix of café, grocery and post office. Alternatively (or additionally) refuel at much-loved and freshly-renovated Watervale Hotel. The menu is fresh and sustainable, with produce coming from nearby Penobscot Farm.
Next stop, discover the small township of Leasingham, full of cellars doors and an art gallery located just a short distance from the trail. The Vine Art Studio is a smart place to stop and stretch your legs.
Finish your ride in Auburn near the historic railway building, now home to Mount Horrocks Wines, an ideal spot for a well-earned victory drink. Continue to replenish your fluids at Koonowla Wines, Velvet & Willow and Taylors Wines.