The team at Watervale Hotel are passionate about fresh local food and Clare Valley produce.

Join in the fun

Respect the past as we celebrate the future together

oh the fun we've had!

retrospective evolution

Sunday 28th May 2023

Nicola invited guests home to Penobscot Farm for a long table lunch in the Shearing Shed. The lunch featured fresh, fermented and preserved farm produce with all cooking over wood fires. Warrick and Katie Spain introduced wines from experimental and next generation labels, and emerging winemakers who have sought inspiration from traditional techniques and the old world.  

Special guest Ngadjuri healer Aunty Angelena welcomed guests to Ngadjuri country and  explained what life was like living in Watervale before the arrival of Europeans. Her Husband Tjadjawara played didgeridoo and explained how the movement of the stars and cycles of the moon guided the Ngadjuri through their seasonal migration. 

Wendouree Degustation

Saturday May 20th & Friday May 26th 2023

Guests were hosted by either Tim White or Nick Ryan for a six course degustation matched to Wendouree wines. Canapes were served with Ashton Hills Sparkling Shiraz made from Wendouree base wine. The Wendouree Pressings, Shiraz Mataro, Cabernet Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz were all matched perfectly to dishes that included Coorong Mulloway and Kangaroo. Guests were brought into the secret world of Wendouree and left understanding why this brand is revered the world over. 

Watervale Epicurean Society members can book a similar event for a minimum of 10 or maximum of 20 of their friends at 495 / head. 

cellars without doors

Friday May 19th 2023

Over 90 guests enjoyed the annual Cellars without Doors Degustation in 2023.

Senator Don Farrell presented his Shiraz from his own Sevenhill vineyard, preceded by Wykari Sparkling Riesling, Steven Baraglia’s Naked Run Riesling, Woodvale GSM, Edallilie Shiraz Cabernet, and Ruddenklau Cabernet. The Wendouree Muscat of Alexandria was served with Dessert. 

Long Lunch with Koerner Wines

Friday May 19th 2023

Koerner Wine teamed up with Nicola and Warrick at the Watervale Hotel to put on a long lazy Friday lunch to remember.  Damon and Jono Koerner engaged in conversation with Warrick on wine styles with guests chipping in with questions and comments.

Six courses were matched to Koerner wines with guests blown away by the terroir driven differences between Rieslings, and wowed by the subtle elegance and persistence of Koerner reds. 


An invitation from the heart of this land

Thursday 1st September 2022

This is an invitation to the Women living on Ngadjuri Land

Esther Greenslade, the licensee of the Watervale Hotel in the 1860s, gave the gift of
life to the Ngadjuri women living nearby. She broke bread and fed her fellow
women at a time when such compassion was rare.

Aunty Angelena Harradine and Nicola Palmer honoured Esther by re-enacting the
breaking of bread at a special women’s luncheon at the Watervale Hotel
on Thursday 1st September, 2022.

Leaving a Green Footprint on Ngadjuri Land

Watervale was an oasis of Ngadjuri country for thousands of years – being sustainably managed for the benefit of future generations. The area was called Watervale by the arriving Europeans because there was water springing from the ground. There was a layer of brown loam high in organic content and full of life held together by native grasses which retained water, allowing it to make its way into the ground. Sheep and European farming techniques saw the grasses disappear and topsoil eroded over a few decades exposing red clay which became like a terra cotta pot in the hot sun.

Penobscot Farm is being managed with regenerative agriculture techniques – permaculture design, organic and bio-dynamic practices. We are exploring the similarities between Steiner bio-dynamics and Ngadjuri land management. By improving the vitality and life of the soils we are producing more nutritious, tastier food.

From the Heart of our Land

Few Ngadjuri people now live on Ngadjuri Country. Most died of disease, poisoning, or through lack of access to their traditional food. Those who survived the first decades of European settlement relocated to missions such as Point Pearce on the Yorke Peninsula for protection 150 years ago.

In the 1860’s the Licensee of the Watervale Hotel, Esther Greenslade fed the local women, saving many long enough to relocate.  

Two years ago we were visited by Aunty Angelena Harradine who was keen to meet Nicola. She had heard of Esther’s kindness when growing up at Point Pearce and wanted to remember this woman. She said we should celebrate the good stories. We ran an event in Esther’s honour on September 1st which was covered by SA Life. The article written by Zoe Rice tells the story well.

Living Melting Pot

Friday May 20th 2022

This half-day event was held during the Clare Gourmet week to explore Marnie Robert’s Matriarch and Rogue wines. 

Thanks to Mr Willson for moving us around Watervale!

The event started with a Six Senses Penobscot Farm tour with a difference. Guests were treated to a canape picked by Nicola as they toured matched to a Penobscot Farm cocktail, also made from freshly picked produce.

The group then headed off to Bryksy’s vineyard where Marnie sources her Riesling.

Nicola started a fire and cooked prawn and mandarin skewers matched to the Riesling as Marnie explained how it was made. The views from the hill across to Mount Horrocks at sunset were sensational.

Then it was back to the Watervale Hotel for the rest of the degustation dinner, with courses matched to Matriarch and Rogue wines including a Cabernet Franc straight from the barrel and a lovely little tawny with dessert. What a day is was. 

Katie's Wonderland & The Mad Hatters Tea Party

Sunday May 22nd 2022

Everyone was there – The Queen of Hearts aka Katie Spain, the white rabbit, a unicorn,  several Mad Hatters, and an Alice with a hairy chest.

DJ Driller entertained the guests lifting the tempo as the afternoon wore on. 

Nicola prepared endless canapes, and finished with a Striploin Sandwich bigger than the grin on a Cheshire cat.  

Kirrihill Wines - Fire, Smoke & Smoulder

Saturday May 21st 2022

The Fires of Hell Fires of Hell Asado BBQ was the hero of the night alongside of the amazing Kirrihill wines.

Things kicked off with canapes and Kirrihill Riesling before the smoke and smoulder delivered a string of dishes designed to partner Kirrihill Shiraz – including the 2019 which won the Great australian Shiraz challenge, as well as the trophy winning ‘Pastor’ Cabernet Malbec. 

Long Lunch with Koerner Wines

Friday May 13th 2022

Koerner Wine teamed up with Nicola and Warrick at the Watervale Hotel to put on a long lazy Friday lunch to remember.  Damon and Jono Koerner engaged in conversation with Warrick on wine styles with guests chipping in with questions and comments.

Six courses were matched to Koerner wines including a very interesting comparison between Rolle and Pigato Vermintino’s. 

Damon through in a couple of European wines to compare with the Clare Valley offerings. 

The light red Mammolo, and the Sangiovese set tongues wagging; whilst the dishes were matched to perfection. 



Tasting Australia came to the Clare Valley on May 1st.

The guests started with a Penobscot Farm tour and discussed organic and bio-dynamic farming before enjoying a freshly picked canape and a Penobscot cocktail under the golden elm. The cocktail was based on a Watervale Riesling with a difference – distilled by Jeffrey Grosset. 

Nicola and Warrick prepared a treat for guests in the Hell Hole of the Watervale Hotel upon return.

Dishes were matched to the 100% skin contact Dilettantes Fiano, the Koerner Mammolo, a pairing of Cabernet Franc – the wild yeast Gertie and the organically grown Adelina, the bio-dynamic Mount Horrock’s Nero d’Avola, and as a final twist dessert was served with the Kenny Riesling. 






Taste Nature

Our menu is seasonal, driven by produce from our own organic, bio dynamic Penobscot Farm.