Based on her previous residence in Croweater Country, ‘Er Indoors suggested Clare as a desirable destination and the suggestion was one that a dedicated Riesling drinker could comfortably endorse.

Since we’re not very likely to be back that way unless we’re stopping over on the way to somewhere else a basic structure of Adelaide > three nights in Clare > the Barossa overnight on the way back to the City of Churches seemed to fit reasonably well. That meant four nights in the wine country and three days for Madam to catch up with friends and acquaintances. Looked like a fair deal all around.

With the basic outline of the trip sorted out it was time to set out on basic research, and when you’re researching Australian wineries, there are few better starting points than Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion.

If you’ve spotted Mr Halliday’s weighty tome in a bookshop, you may well suppose it contains details of every winery on the continent, and I guess that, at some point, it did. 

The recent growth of Australia’s wine industry has, however, posed a problem for Halliday since there are now too many wineries to fit into a book limited to eight hundred odd pages and they produce more wines than any one person can physically taste.

There’s also the question of tasting notes for previous vintages, so a dedicated drinker could well end up with a shelf full of Hallidays for reference purposes.

The combination of those factors induced me to subscribe to the online version of Halliday’s tome, and I think that having worked my way around the website a couple of times, I might have bought my last hard copy of the Companion.

Mind you, I did use the hard copy to start research into the wineries of the Clare Valley, but only to start a basic list of what was there from the handy list at the back of the book, get the star rating and check which establishments were not open to the public.

© Ian Hughes 2017