Judgement Day: Langhorne Creek's best go under the microscope

May 04th, 2017
Judgement Day: Langhorne Creek's best go under the microscope
It’s winemakers’ time to shine at this year’s Langhorne Creek Wine Show.

One of Australia’s oldest wine regions, Langhorne Creek is known for producing red wine grapes which thrive in the area’s ideal growing conditions.

In the 1860s Frank Potts planted the first grapes in the district at the now heritage listed Bleasdale Winery, marking the beginning of the region’s proud and long history of family owned and run vineyards.

The Langhorne Creek Wine Show recognises the best wines from the region and a winner is chosen from each of the nine categorises, including a Champion Wine of the Show.

This year there were 216 entires, the most in the show’s history, which came from 41 different brands.

Langhorne Creek Wine Region Association’s James Carroll said at the tasting day on Sunday, May 28 punters will have the chance to sample over a hundred local wines.

“The real highlight is being able to talk to wine makes about your favourite wines and obtain a deeper understanding,” he said.

“It’s an excellent opportunity to taste some wines that don’t have cellar doors.
“A lot of producers don’t have an outlet for people to taste their wines, so they’re out there on the day flying the flag for their brand.

“Many people will come in the morning, then head to a cellar door for lunch to make a day of it and experience the region.”

For those wanting to stay at the wine show, there will be a gourmet barbecue with locally sourced produce hosted by a local sporting club.

Bleasdale Wines has been involved in the Langhorne Creek Wine Show, which became an official wine show in 2014, since day one.

Brand ambassador Robbie Potts said they’ve had their “fair share of luck”, winning Producer of the Show in 2015.

“Lake Breeze has a long history of winning it every year – we beat them to it – but they came back with a vengeance last year,” he said.

“There is some pretty stiff competition, but we all get on really well as a region – it’s a nice friendly rivalry.”

Robbie’s great great grandfather founded the winery in 1850 and the region is still expanding to this day.

“Twenty odd years ago the region exploded for growing grapes, it ticked all the right boxes, with climate, soil and geography,” Robbie said.

“We have the support of some very good local grape growers, on our own vineyard and a good wine making team.

“We do all our own bottling and packaging.”

For the first hundred years, Bleasdale only made four to five wines per year, mainly port and sherry.

In 1960, they starting making red table wines, which now makes up 85 per cent of the business.

Robbie said they’re never made wine better.

“At the moment, we focus on cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and malbec wines.”

“We don’t chase the moscato and rosé trends, that’s not our markets, we just do what we’ve always done best.”

Robbie’s favourite wine to drink is the Frank Potts red, a blend of five different varieties.

“It’s a very personal thing and changes from day to day – you can’t nail me down to one.

“But that would be the bottle that I reach for at the end of the day.”

Wine writer Nick Ryan is the chair of judges at this year’s show, alongside marketer David Brookes and winemaker Sue Bell of Bellwether Wines.

Nick said great wines taste like the place they come from.

“When we judge those wines, first and foremost, they have to be a good wine and a wine that has a sense of place about them – that taste like they come from Langhorne Creek,” he said.

“I think drink-ability is always important because we judge the wines as drinkers ourselves.

“If we wouldn’t sit down and drink a bottle of a particular wine, it’s not going to get a result in the wine show.

“We look for wines that are balanced, have a real sense of composure and wines that are downright delicious.

“In terms of varieties, I love Langhorne Creek’s cabernet sauvignon, which does really well, and malbec is always feature of the wine show – a variety that has huge potential.

“One of the other things that the Creek does really well and leads the industry with is the merging of varieties – those are really interesting.”

Judging took place over May 2-3 with the presentation of awards to be held on May 5.

The Langhorne Wine Creek Show tasting will be held on Sunday, May 28, from 11am-4pm at the Langhorne Creek Memorial Hall.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door. For more information visit http://www.langhornecreek.com

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