O'Leary Walker hosts ex-PM

It is not everyday a former Prime Minister visits the Clare Valley.

But on Wednesday afternoon, close to 50 people gathered at O'Leary Walker Wines at Leasingham as Tony Abbott launched his new book The Defining Speeches.

Grey MP and Liberal party colleague Rowan Ramsey was in attendance, as was former state Labor MP Jack Snelling and former Port Pirie Mayor Brenton Vanstone.

The event was held by the Menzies Research Centre. Executive director, and former News Corp journalist, Nick Cater had MC duties.

It was the third stop on the National tour following two events in Sydney the day before.

Mr Cater said there had been discussions about hosting the launch in Port Pirie and Mt Gambier but opted for Clare Valley.

O'Leary Walker were no strangers to the Liberals as former PM John Howard opened their cellar door in 2003.

Winemaker David O'Leary's brother, Tony, was Mr Howard's long time press secretary and occupied the same role for Mr Abbott during his time as leader.

After a quick introduction and welcome from Mr Ramsey, Mr Abbott talked about the new book - a collection of his speeches from his tenure.

"The book is about the thinking that drove the actions," he said.

The dawn service speech Mr Abbott gave at Anzac Cove to comemorate the centenary of Australian and New Zealand soldiers landing at Gallipoli was one that particularly stuck out in his mind.

Following lunch Mr Cater opened up the room for a brief question and answer session with Mr Abbott.

He gave interesting insight into what went on behind the scenes during the MH-17 disaster and the Lindt Cafe siege.

The book was the third installment in a series following a collection of Robert Menzies speeches and Mr Howard's speeches.

Mr Cater said the series aimed to "preserve and celebrate our history."