August is the month for SALA, South Australian Living Artists Festival, and this week i was invited to Claymore Wines exhibition opening. I’ve read about SALA in previous years but never managed to attend any exhibitions. Why that is i have no idea because the couple of openings this week have been a great deal of fun. Taking a few hours out of my day to mingle with happy, positive, people who are showcasing their talents AND tasting some incredibly good local wine, is heaps of fun. Even my partner in crime has enjoyed it. Well, he might say differently, but he appeared to be having a good time. He’s a fantastic designated driver and never complains. Don’t worry, i know how lucky i am 😀
When we arrived at Claymore Wines on Wednesday night we were greeted by Kerry whom i had never met before but instantly felt like i’d known her for years. How good is it when you get such great customer service and you can see that each and every customer is treated with the same high standard of genuine politeness. Kerry has a fantastic knack for remembering names, just ask her about her grandma, it’s a funny but, very real and endearing tale. The same can be said for Claymore’s newest team member, Adele, who is also effortlessly happy & friendly.
Once we were in the door i spotted cellar door manager, Chrissy, and we made our way over. Chrissy’s personality is huge and warm and she too, welcomes all who are attending as equally as the next. It’s a great vibe and LD & I are feeling very much at home. The artist in residence at Claymore’s is Chris Meadows. Chris is relatively new to Clare Valley although his wife, Julie, has ties with Auburn having attended school there. Julie works at Wild Saffron and when this is mentioned by Chris there were a few “Ah haa’s” murmured throughout the crowd as people put a face to the name, me included. Isn’t it great when people move to a new area and gain employment straight away? I think so anyway. It happened to us when we moved here almost twenty years ago and we’ve never been unemployed.
I was offered the 2015 vintage Riesling which i eagerly accepted. It’s everything the back label says it is. Tight, delicate and the right balance of lime & dry fruitiness. It gets the tick of approval from this Riesling lover.
Back to the SALA opening. There was a comfortable crowd in attendance, people who were there because they geniunely wanted to view new art and meet the artist. Sure, the lure of wine with a bit of cheese on a cracker may have helped, but the crowd was loving the work of Chris Meadows all the same. Chris is one of those fortunate people who doesn’t need to speak loudly to get an audience and is respectful to hear the story of those he converses with. His introduction to himself and wife, Julie, and how they came to settle in Clare Valley was interesting and honest. The former school teacher showed humble gratitude that he is fortunate enough to be in a position to settle in a fantastic region and focus on his art. His rapid return to mass production was somewhat forced, in a positive way when, on a cellar door tour around the valley, he got chatting with Chrissy and before he knew it, he was the showcase artist for Claymore Wines 2015 SALA exhibition.
And while Chris’s work would fit in any wine region, it sits very comfortably in Clare Valley and i think the walls of Claymore Wines cellar door is the perfect place for it because Chrissy, Kerry and Adele will give it respectful recognition to all who visit.
Like any good mid-week outing, the event was short and sweet and we were back home at a tidy hour. Maybe i’m getting old(er) but that’s a great night out if you ask me! Thanks again to Chrissy van de jeugd, Kerry and, Adele, and of course, Chris Meadows, for an enjoyable night.
There’s a stack of SALA exhibitions throughout Clare Valley until the end of August so go get some culture and yes, taste the wine….it’s good for your soul 😀
Claymore Wines is located on Horrocks Highway, Leasingham. Their wines are as interesting and wholesome as the labels are quirky. The Joshua Tree riesling is definitely my favourite with the 2015 taking on a slightly sharper, but not too much, edge than the 2014. In the reds you can’t go past Dark Side of The Moon. You’ll always find a great bargain for cleanskins at cellar door and their annual Curry & Covers is a popular event. You will be greeted by cellar door manager, Chrissy, and her team Kerry & Adele and all three ladies are backed by a formidable team of passionate wine lovers.
Put Claymore Wines on your #ClareValley to do list.