Winemaker Focus: The Clare Valley’s O’Leary Walker Wines

By 31 January 20182018 News

O’Leary Walker Wines was established in 2000 by winemakers David O’Leary and Nick Walker. With over twenty five years experience and established reputations making premium wine with the big companies, these two long time friends decided to take control of their own destiny and craft small batches of wine from some of the best vineyard sites in South Australia. With a great leap of faith they are now doing exactly what they set out to.  

Our stunning Cellar Door is based at Leasingham in the Clare Valley, South Australia. The wines are regionally distinct with fruit sourced from other premium grape growing districts in South Australia including the Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, Coonawarra and McLaren Vale. Our theory behind this is to draw on the grape varieties that excel in these quite different viticultural climates. 

O’Leary Walker Wines has recently won the 2017 Cellar Door of the year award.

O’Leary Walker Winemakers – On off the must-visit cellar doors when visiting the Clare Valley region.

Clare Classic: Many of us who enjoy quality wine don’t realise the long path from the vineyard to the table – can you tell us more about what’s involved and what makes your wines so unique?

David O’Leary: It all starts in the Vineyard, 80 percent of all great wines are made in the vineyard, both David and Nick concertante on growing fantastic fruit which has terrific flavour and balance, it is a long process but they key is to know when the right time is to pick. 

Clare Classic: For those who haven’t visited the region before can you give the ‘Top 3’ reasons to visit – Why the Clare Valley?

David O’Leary: The Clare Valley is cottagey and pristine, you get to see first-hand the best vineyards in Australia for producing world class Riesling. The local food now being showcased in the likes of Seed Winehouse + Kitchen, Mr Micks and many more are high end and go hand in hand with the wines our region does so well in producing. The Clare Valley also offers some of the best B & B’s in the country. 

Nick Walker and David O’Leary.

Clare Classic: The cycling event is set to showcase the Clare Valley to many hundreds of cyclists and their families – What does news of this event mean to you?

David O’Leary: The Clare Valley is perhaps protected a bit by the distance from Adelaide and the “big brother’ The Barossa Valley, word of mouth is extremely powerful and news will spread  of just how beautiful and uncluttered our region is from the thousands of people being brought to the Valley because of this event. 

Clare Classic: Do you have anything further to add?

David O’Leary: The team at O’Leary Walker Wines would like to thank Tony Brady and Evan Hiscock, who’s initiative it was to create and introduce the Riesling trail to our region, it’s a fantastic way to get everyone involved.

Interview By David O’Leary