The Clare ValleyThe Clare Valley is located two hours north of Adelaide in the Mount Lofty ranges. The region was settled by John Horrocks who encouraged his servant James Green to plant the first vines in 1842. Climate in the Clare Valley is continental with hot summers, cold winters and low rainfall that necessitates supplementary irrigation. Soils in the valley are predominantly red brown loams over shale, permitting excellent drainage. Many of the best vineyards are located at higher elevations of 400-500m on sites that take advantage of the cool breezes that funnel up the corrugation of hills from the south. The Clare Valley is renowned for its zesty fruit-pure Rieslings particularly from the sub-regions of Polish Hill and Watervale. The region also produces intense age-worthy sturdy reds from Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
Hermann Paul Leopold Buring (better known as Leo Buring) was born in 1876 in South Australia to German parents. In 1896 Leo was Dux of the Oenology course at Roseworthy Agricultural College, and in 1902, after studying at Geisenheim, Germany and Montpellier, France, he joined Penfolds Minchinbury Cellars near Mt Druitt in New South Wales. In 1931 Buring formed a business partnership with Reginald Mowat of Great Western called Leo Buring & Co. His first wine was made from grapes grown at his Emu Plains property in the early 1930s. However, he moved the major part of his wine operations to the Barossa Valley in South Australia in 1945. John Vickery joined in 1953 and a golden period followed. During the 1960s and 1970s Leo Buring Rieslings were regarded as the very best white Australian wines. The brand fell under the radar in the intervening decades due to various corporate reshuffles, but is today once again on the ascendancy, making its name strictly as Riesling specialist. The Leo Buring Leonay DW Riesling is the top cuvee and is either an Eden Valley of Clare Riesling depending on which area delivers the best parcels of fruit in any given vintage. Leo Buring also produces a standard Clare Riesling and an Eden Valley Riesling both offering superb value for money.