Pet-Friendly Cellar Doors and Eateries Clare Valley
A trip to the Clare Valley is for the whole family, even the ones with four legs. Don’t leave them at home, take them with you on a memory-making adventure to a world-class wine region.
With over 15 dog-friendly cellar doors and even more dining options in the Clare Valley, you’re sure to find plenty of spots to taste the region's finest alongside your fur baby.
The best of both worlds with both beer and wine only a few steps away. Head out to Pikes where you’ll have access to their Brewery, Beer Garden, Tasting Room. Book a tasting flight, then grab a paddle and enjoy burgers, wings and fries or a platter outside in the sunshine. On the other side of the highway sits Jeanneret Wines and Clare Valley Brewing Company. Surrounded by huge gum trees, flights of wine and beer can be enjoyed outside in the sunshine or by the open fire. They even have a grape cider on tap!
The ideal pairing with a glass of wine is a platter. They make the perfect light lunch if you know you’re going out for dinner, or after you’ve enjoyed a big breakfast. Claymore Wines in Leasingham offers just this and is a must-stop if you’re passionate about your music (and reds). Eldredge Wines along the Spring Gully route is a gorgeous spot to sit on the lawn in the sun or under the trees, offering vineyard views over the dam. If your furry best friend loves to play with other dogs, there’s a very high chance the Mitchell Wines dogs are up for it. Just south of Clare sits Shut the Gate Wines, where you can select your favourite platter items from their in-house ‘Little Grocer.’ Once you’ve tasted the range and picked out your platter, enjoy a glass out in the Bliss Garden. The views from Tim Adams Wines are fantastic, plus it has its own private access from the Riesling Trail. For something a bit more than a tasting flight, try their wine and cheese flight? A platter on the lawns of Koonowla Estate with a glass of crisp riesling (or for something different, a Primitivo) with your pooch makes for a picture-perfect afternoon.
If you’re wanting a more substantial bite to eat than a platter, book in at one of our winery restaurants. Dine under the olive tree or under the veranda at Skillogalee Wines, both give incredible views over the vineyards. Enjoy their wines how they were intended to be enjoyed, paired with delicious food. In the heritage-listed town of Mintaro sits Reillys Wines, built in 1856 out of slate from the nearby quarry. If you happen to be around on a weekend, take your time and eat and drink your way through their popular long lunch. If you’re indecisive and want to try a little bit of everything, the tapas on offer at Mr Mick Cellar Door + Kitchen should be on your list. Enjoy your meal in the warm sunshine or by one of their two fires. Lunch with a view, yes please! O’Leary Walker Wines sits high on a hill with rolling vineyard views and a huge lawned area out the front. Gourmet platters with house-made everything are available every day or from Thursday to Sunday enjoy the delights of their restaurant.
Take the kids and the dog to the oldest winery in the Clare Valley, Sevenhill Cellars. Easily accessible off the Riesling Trail and only a short walk from the famous Richardsons Park Play Space and award-winning Little Red Grape Bakery & Sevenhill Hotel. Have your kids ever had the chance to pat a sheep? If not, add Sussex Squire Wines to your list for a taste of farm life and some really good wines. If sheep aren’t their thing, maybe they’d want to feed some ducks, head over to Hill River Clare Estate for this experience. Often with three back vintages of Riesling available for tasting and a range of alternate style reds, you can enjoy your tasting on the deck overlooking the dam with a cheese platter, kids and dogs enjoying the afternoon.
The quaint village of Auburn has way more to offer than what you might first think. Cellar Doors, fine dining restaurant, mini-golf, cafes, a good pub, art trails and a number of B&Bs all within walking distance. If you’ve got somewhere to stay in the town, you can fill your whole day wine tasting with your dog, and not even have to get in the car!
Start your morning at Velvet and Willow Cellar Door + Pantry for croissants and caffeine. The coffee here is made even better by the incredible outdoor garden that it’s enjoyed in and be sure to pop back a bit later for your wine tasting. Across the road sits Wines by KT, the cellar door of Australia’s ‘Queen of Riesling’ Kerri Thompson. With a range of quality reds and whites plus her own gin, it will take your tastebuds on a journey that will have you begging for more. Situated in the original Railway Station for Auburn is Mount Horrocks Wines. Pets are welcomed on the lawned area whilst you taste single-vineyard, 100% organic wines made by the ‘Riesling whisperer’ Stephanie Toole (something tells us the Riesling is pretty good in Auburn). Heading slightly further out of town is Taylors Wines, follow the Riesling Trail from Mount Horrocks Cellar door, over the bridge and to the road, then follow Taylors Road and Winery Road, 4kms out of town. On the other side of town is Koonowla Wines, you might need your car or bike for this one but believe us when we say it is more than worth it. A popular wedding venue, the grounds of this charming cellar door are absolutely stunning, you could spend hours in the garden over a cheese platter and bottle of wine. With two ranges to try (yep, they also offer the full range of Georges Wines) there’s sure to be something you love. And if you time it right, they often have events on Friday Nights or weekends where you can enjoy some tunes and scrumptious food in a fantastic atmosphere. To finish your day off, it makes sense to try some fortified wines, and there’s no better place to do this than Mr Nobody Wines. Be sure to also try Miss Somebody’s sparkling!
No matter which day of the week you find yourself in the Clare Valley, there’ll be an abundance of places open where you can get your hands on some wine. Right in the heart of Clare sits Knappstein Wines, originally built by the daughter of Clare’s founding father as a brewery to satisfy the thirsty miners in 1878! Now it’s a beautifully renovated, heritage-listed building where you can try a fantastic selection of classic Clare Valley varietals. The World’s Best Shiraz is quite an achievement, but when you’ve produced a wine that’s won the award not once, but three times, something is going perfectly right. An exclusive tasting flight ‘The Revelation’ is non-negotiable if you’re looking to try wines of that standard, or Kilikanoon Wines offer two (still incredibly delicious) flights, Diversity of Clare and a Taste of Clare. A tasting with Matriarch and Rogue is held by appointment only, any day of the week with the winemaker/owner herself at the winery. It’s a personal, intimate experience that really dives deep into each of the wines, the stories and the personalities of her brand (if that’s not enough to get you to book, how about a go on the drum kit?). The first vines at Crabtree Wines were planted well over 100 years ago, and their passion for producing good quality has grown from there. With a range of classic Clare Valley wines and even a few fortified, it’s worth the drive or a quick pit-stop off the Riesling Trail.
If you’re here on a weekend, just about every cellar door will throw their doors open to welcome visitors. Among them, Penna Lane Wines behind the hamlet of Penwortham and right around the corner from Kilikanoon Wines. This small but charming cellar door is surrounded by vineyards, tastings can be enjoyed in the Great Outdoors admiring the surrounds. A name we bet you’ve heard before is Jim Barry Wines. Tastings here are by appointment only between Thursday and Saturday (closed for vintage). It’s a chance to taste some of their more exclusive wines, including the Armagh Shiraz. If you’re staying at the caravan park and feel the urge to go for a walk or cycle, give Stone Bridge Wines a call to book a tasting. Enjoy a glass under the olive tree and check their Facebook page for times they fire up the Pizza Oven! You’ll find Tim McNeil Wines in Riesling country, more specifically, in Watervale. You could stay and stare at the views for ages, the wine will keep you longer. If the signs are out, pop in!
After a full day of discovering the delights in the Clare Valley – wines, trails, heritage – it’s time for you and your furry friend to replenish your energy levels at one of our local eateries. No matter the style of cuisine you’re craving rest assured there is a style to meet the needs of your tastebuds and the bonus? Your furry friends are more than welcome.
Watervale Hotel is renowned for its paddock to plate ethos and seasonal, fresh, fine dining. Much to your canine friends delight they also are looked after here with canine canapes or, if you want to truly spoil them, a doggy degustation. The owner’s English staffy, ‘Frankie Blue’, has ruled the roost at the pub almost every day since he was 8 weeks old. He’s often found hanging out in the beer garden waiting to meet new friends. Please don’t disappoint him.
Authentic Italian cuisine is what Ragu & Co, is all about. Whilst your tucking into a pizza or bowl of pasta in the picket white fenced beer garden, ‘Fido’ is equally as welcome. The restaurant is located at the northern end of Clare’s main street, so if you’re staying locally, it’s a good stroll for both of you.
Craving some classic pub fare, say, a chicken parmy with gravy on the side? The Sevenhill Hotel has been recognised time and time again for their excellent pub-foodand they offer a restaurant style for those feeling a bit fancy. Pets are welcome under the veranda, in the enclosed beer garden or on the deck on the lawn.
The Magpie & Stump Hotel, Mintaro, has a huge lawned area with games for the kids, umbrellas for the sun and fire pits to keep the cold at bay. Bentleys Hotel and the Clare Hotel (or Middle Pub as it’s known by the locals) on the main street of Clare, both welcome dogs in their outdoor areas. Both pubs offer classic pub meals with something extra - stone grill at Bentleys and a salad bar at the Middle.
More great pub food, in a pet-friendly environment, can be found further afield at the Hotel Central in Riverton, the Rising Sun Hotel in Auburn, the Farrell Flat Hotel, Junction Hotel in Brinkworth (Pizza specials), or the Royal Exchange Hotel in Burra.
With all these options, your pets would be distraught if you left them at home.
A lighter style lunch might be on the cards if you have big plans for dinner, luckily there is no shortage of cafes and bakeries around the region.
Newly opened Me, Myself and Isla, in the Clare main street, offer puppacinos and in-house made dog treats (only $3 for a combo!). So while you savour your daily dose of caffeine or one of their internationally inspired dishes, your pooch is thoroughly looked after.
Situated on an olive farm, just minutes from the main street of Clare you’ll find The Olive Bus. A favourite with the locals because there’s plenty of space for your pets to roam around and you can enjoy brunch, lunch or afternoon tea. The café itself is a renovated bus, however, most of the seating is outside and undercover. Not to be missed are the baked potatoes on Saturday or the pizza offerings on Sunday. They are known for their unusual but oh so tasty flavour combinations (check ahead to confirm).
A local’s favourite is Zest Café, located in the arcade halfway down the Clare main street, with a fridge full of sweet and savoury delights, an extensive breakfast & lunch menu and seating available under the vines outside. They kindly mist in summer and heat in winter.
Speaking of great breakfasts, you need to check out the Emporium Bakehouse in Riverton. Their menu consists of an all-day breakfast offering, toasties, rolls, salads and burgers, with weekly specials.
The famous Little Red Grape Bakery now has two locations – hurrah - at Leasingham and Sevenhill, making it easier for you to grab one of their award-winning pastries.
St Just Café in Burra is a hidden gem and a favourite both with the locals and many visitors. The coffee is fabulous and their extensive dining area includes the sidewalk. Get our drift? If you can, ask someone to watch your pup whilst you browse the adjoining homewares store. We bet you can’t resist buying something here.
And then, on the southern edge of the wine region, Cogwebs Café in Auburn has a cute courtyard under the vines to enjoy your morning tea, lunch, or bowl of water.
We love to welcome your pets here in the Clare Valley tourism region. We just ask that you keep them on a leash at all times and remember they can only play in outdoor areas. If you’re unsure, when you make your booking or prior to your arrival, please advise you are travelling with your pet to ensure you’re seated in the best area to facilitate you both.
Download a complete list of Pet-Friendly Accommodation, Dining, Cellar Doors & Attractions here
Download a list of Family-Friendly Activities (including cellar doors) here