Langhorne Creek’s secret is starting to get out

CHEERS: Lake Breeze Wines staff Bev McKenny, Dionne Follett, Vanessa Button and chef Brad McAvaney with a new Rosato rosé. A challenging grape growing season has been well managed by Langhorne Creek growers.
CHEERS: Lake Breeze Wines staff Bev McKenny, Dionne Follett, Vanessa Button and chef Brad McAvaney with a new Rosato rosé. A challenging grape growing season has been well managed by Langhorne Creek growers.

REGION – More grapes come out of Langhorne Creek than the Barossa, but the Fleurieu’s oldest wine country is still a bit of a hidden secret.

Wineries like Lake Breeze are pushing the Langhorne Creek brand, with events like the Handpicked Festival putting the region on the map.

Lake Breeze winemaker Greg Follett said in 2016/17 about 60,000 tonnes of grapes came out of Langhorne Creek.

Flooding and cooler weather made for a challenging season for local grape growers. 

After heavy floods in winter 2016, some areas of Langhorne Creek were flooded again in December.

But with decades of experience growing grapes in the area, partly on a floodplain, winemakers had the knowledge to deal with tricky conditions.

“The season certainly tested us,” Mr Follett said.

“The conditions weren’t ideal, but that’s part and parcel of being on a floodplain.

“You take the good with the bad.”

It became clear that Lake Breeze’s Grenache grapes, on 85-year-old vines, were not going to ripen as they should.

“So instead of going into a dry red, we picked them early and made them into a rosé, for a new product - Rosato,” Mr Follett said.

“Rosé is certainly growing in popularity in Australia, and our Rosato is going really well through the cellar door and some local outlets.

“It’s not like the old style rosé, it’s a much more modern flavour.

“It’s the first time ever we’ve used the Grenache to make a rosé and we’re going to have to keep doing it now, it’s becoming that popular.

“An advantage of the rosé is that the product is straight out there and doesn’t have to spend 12 months in a barrel.”

Lake Breeze was flooded last week, which means the vines can withstand a dry summer.

“There are still a lot of people who are unaware of how accessible Langhorne Creek is to the city – just an hour away,” Mr Follett said.

Langhorne Creek wines will be promoted at an event in Adelaide next month, with a tasting on Leigh Street on Friday, October 27, at 4.30pm.

Handpicked Festival will be held at Lake Breeze on Saturday, November 11.

For more visit www.langhornecreek.com