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Langhorne Creek Wine Region

You should know more about this relatively unknown and under appreciated wine region south-east of Adelaide in South Australia

Some of the alternative varieties grown in the Langhorne Creek Wine RegionSome of the alternative varieties grown in the Langhorne Creek Wine Region

The odd thing about Langhorne Creek is its relative anonymity. Ask anyone about wine regions in South Australia and they will name this region well down the list if at all. Those who have heard about it will think it is only a minor wine region.

Not so.

It is the third largest grape growing region in South Australia. A large proportion of the grapes grown here is vinified or blended and marketed elsewhere, by companies based in other wine regions.

Not many wineries can claim to have originated a wine grape variety, but the Cleggett family can lay claim to have originated two. Malian was produced as a sport of Cabernet Sauvignon. Shalistin is the result of a further sport of Malian. These varieties are now registered on international databases. A sport is a natural mutation of an existing variety. In this case the vines are virtually genetically identical to Cabernet Sauvignon, but the skin pigment of the grapes is partially, or totally lacking in pigments.

Bremerton Wines Cellar door in Langhorne CreekBremerton Wines Cellar door in Langhorne Creek Wine Region

This region is part of the Fleurieu Peninsula Group of wine regions which also includes McLaren Vale, Kangaroo Island, Southern Fleurieu and Currency Creek.

The landscape is generally flat with deep alluvial soils. Many of the vineyards here are irrigated by the flooding of the Bremer River.

The major varieties in the region are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, but there are some significant plantings of less common varieties.

There are several areas of older Grenache vines that have survived the grape pulls of the 1980s, and many growers have adopted some of the new varieties. So there is plenty of wine to learn about and taste if you are looking for something different. And, as we shall see, there is the opportunity to try some unique wines here.

The area under vines has expanded rapidly over the last decade. There is also a suggestion that the area is starting to assert its identity. While there is the buzz around usually associated with a new wine region, Langhorne Creek retains a strong sense of history. Many of the growers and vignerons have family connections in the Langhorne Creek area going back a few generations.

Although large amount or wine is produced here there are relatively few wineries.  Of these only a few have cellar doors open, reflecting the traditional role of the region as a grape growing region more than a wine making area. However there is growing interest and more wineries are being built, so we can expect that the wine touring infrastructure can be expected to improve.

Pictures from South Australian WIneries

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Alternative varieties in the Langhorne Creek Wine Region

As is the case in most Australian wine regions the varietal mix here is dominated by traditional varieties.  But this is changing as the list below demonstrates. 

  • Ben Potts Wines Malbec
  • Bleasdale Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Tempranillo
  • Bremerton Barbera, Chenin Blanc, Fiano, Graciano, Lagrein, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Vermentino
  • Brothers in Arms Malbec
  • Casa Freschi Gewurztraminer, Malbec, Nebbiolo
  • Fabal Sangiovese
  • Gipsie Jack Dolcetto, Malbec, Petit Verdot
  • Hofer Family WInes Barbera, Lagrein, Montepulciano
  • Kanoetree Malbec
  • Kimbolton Carignan, Durif, Montepulciano, Zinfandel
  • Lake Breeze Malbec, Moscato, Petit Verdot, Vermentino
  • Next Crop Wines Barbera, Graciano, Lagrein, Malbec, Montepulciano, Nebbiolo, Pinot Blanc, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Teroldego
  • Old Mill Estate Touriga
  • Rusticana Durif, Savagnin, Zinfandel
  • Smidge Wines Gruner Veltliner, Montepulciano, Nero d'Avola
  • Temple Bruer Chenin Blanc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Vermentino
  • Zonte's Footstep Arneis, Barbera, Dolcetto, Graciano, Lagrein, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Roussanne, Sangiovese, Savagnin, Tannat, Tempranillo, Teroldego, Vermentino, Zinfandel
Updated 9 May 2020

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Visiting the Langhorne creeK region

This region is easily reached by car as a day trip from Adelaide. It is also close to the Princes Highway and can be reached via a short detour from Murray Bridge or Strathalbyn if you are traveling from Melbourne to Adelaide or vice versa.

There are some accommodation options at Langhorne Creek, but there are other options at nearby Victor Harbour, Goolwa, and Murray Bridge. You could also consider the small village of Milang on Lake Alexandrina.

Why not use the search box below to check out some accommodation or wine touring options.

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