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Monday 25 March 2024

Major milestone for Australia's original wine and gourmet celebration

It was Australia's first food and wine festival: and many would say it remains the benchmark. 

The Clare Valley SCA Gourmet Week - held in one of Australia's most beautiful wine regions - is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and has announced its 2024 program, which features more than 85 events,

The 10-day festival can be enjoyed in three parts; Festival Weekend (May 17-19), Breathe It In (May 20-24) and Land of the Long Lunch (May 25-26) and kicks off with new events, including Fire and Wines at Skillogalee Estate with Africola ace Duncan Welgemoed cooking over fire. 

Another debutant is Sip, Savour, Celebrate: A Homage to 40 Years of Clare Valley Gourmet at Pikes Wines’ Slate Restaurant - a culinary journey over five courses and a walk down memory lane with a re-creation of dishes over the four decades of Gourmet. 

The official 50th birthday party for Knappstein Wines will be the VinoVibe Fest, which will include a fusion of flavours, melodies and festive good times. 

Guests can round out each day with The Sailing Club – the Unofficial Afterparty at the Clare Showgrounds. 

The team from Mitchell Wines (above) will be marking their 50th birthday during the event. 

Crowd favourites returning including the Cellars without Doors Degustation Dinner on the Friday night, where wines from winemakers who do not have cellar doors are matched with a six-course degustation dinner by state Chef of the Year Nicola Palmer at the stunning Watervale Hotel. 

Many of the region’s favourite cellar doors will open in collaboration with pop-up restaurants, food vans and live music with shuttle buses operating on constant loops, linking the valley over the weekends.

At the Sevenhill Cellars' new event space, winemaker Will Shields will showcase 2024 vintage samples while guests sitting around a campfire. 

Shiraz will star at Explore Kilikanoon Shiraz, where guests can compare different bottles of shiraz across the Kilikanoon range. 

Returning to the program is Wines by KT Clare Valley Gourmet Sips From the Cellar, which will feature tastings of museum wine flights as well as current release wines.

The event wraps up with The Land of the Long Lunch, featuring events in both unique locations and well-loved venues. 

Some of Clare’s most celebrated Clare Valley “wine industry” women, Ali Paulett, Kerri Thompson and Marnie Roberts, will host a tasting matched with light plates to highlight the diversity of people, wine and the Clare Valley environment at Navigating Diversity. 

Gourmet ambassador Nick Ryan - one of Australia’s leading wine writers - said the festival is the original and the best.

“I spend my life travelling to the greatest wine regions across the globe, and there is only one that I choose to call home," he said. 

"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.” 

# To mark the 40th anniversary, a special Clare Valley Wine Hall of Fame Gala Dinner and Awards Presentation will be held at O’Leary Walker Wines on the evening of Friday, May 24. 

Clare Valley SCA Gourmet Week is presented by the Clare Valley Wine & Grape Association and sponsored by Southern Cross Austereo. 

For details see

Images: Matt Turner images 

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