Curious Small Sips #11: Langhorne Creek.

The name ‘Langhorne Creek’ comes from Alfred Langhorne, a cattle drover, who brought animals overland to a property known as ‘Langhorne’s Station’ during the 1840′s. The place where Alfred Langhorne traversed the Bremer River was referred to as ‘Langhorne’s Crossing’, and from this the current name Langhorne Creek evolved.

The pretty wine region on the Fleurieu Peninsula has a maritime climate shaped by on-shore southerly winds blowing directly from the Southern Ocean, across Lake Alexandrina. The key grape varieties are Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, which are used in regional blends. Generally the wines are accessible, soft and fragrant. Cabernet flavours are in the red berry spectrum, often with some mint and chocolate overtones and are seldom herbaceous or overly tannic. As in the Clare Valley, here added Malbec provides a juicy cassis-like element. Often released as a single varietal but also blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Malbec, Shiraz produces striking wines with cherry and mint flavours.

Although produced in relatively small quantities, a regional specialty is a fortified wine in the style of Madeira, and basic table wines made from Verdelho is increasingly produced. A number of fine individual producers like Bremerton Wines (and particularly their Selkirk Shiraz) Kimbolton and Lake Breeze Wines have all cemented the micro-region’s reputation for excellent and innovative wine and Bleasdale, the original premium winery who continue to set the benchmark, was established by the aforementioned father of Langhorne Creek viticulture, Frank Potts, in 1850.


Image: Vineyards at Bleasdale, Langhorne Creek, Australia; © Bleasdale Wines.

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