When I woke up on Sunday I had every intention of attending the Adelaide Hills ‘Winter Reds’ Festival, but when Luke and I arrived at the first vineyard and saw the number of cars we quickly realised it wasn’t really what we wanted. I prefer going to cellar doors when there are less people there so I can talk to the staff there. It’s nice to get more information about the vintage, how the wine was made and more than you can get from a tasting note. So clearly attending a busy weekend wine festival wasn’t going to be what I wanted. Luckily on our way out of Mount Barker we saw the sign that said ‘Langhorne Creek’ and the decision was quickly made to go there.
The first stop on our trip was Cleggett Wines, home of the world first white Cabernet Sauvignon (Shalistin). The story behind this grape is incredible and a highly recommended read here . I didn’t really know what to expect with a white Cab Sauv but it’s always exciting for me to try a new varietal. We tasted the 2003 and the 2011, and there was so much difference between them. It was amazing how well the years have aged the 2003, it had such a smoothness to it, I bought a whole case, which for a primarily red wine drinker is a big thing! I think the Cab Sauv came through enough for me to happily drink it in winter. The 2011 still had a lovely youth about it, a definite consideration when spring and the inevitable picnics start to roll around again. Both highly recommended purchases.
The next stop was Bremerton Wines, where we tried the tastings, with the stand out for me was the Tamblyn blend, I would say it was the Malbec that really helped me with this, it’s one of the varietals I can clearly taste, and the relative scarcity always puts it to the top of my list when I see it. I was a tad upset they had sold out of their straight Malbec so I was unable to try that, I’ll have to get in earlier to try the next vintage. The food was also excellent there, I had a vineyard soup for lunch, while Luke had a very delicious red wine and beef pie in a ramekin dish with delicious puff pasty top.
After this we attempted to get to another vineyard but the water over the roads limited that a bit, but we drove on to a familiar name, Bleasdale. Bleasdale were one of the earlier producers of Malbec, and the very helpful staff advised us that many visitors still come there due to this. So after this, the Malbec was first up to taste. We tried the Premium Malbec and the Second Innings Malbec, I preferred the Premium while Luke preferred the Second Innings, it’s always funny the tiny differences that make one wine better for one person over the other.
The last vineyard we visited was Rusticana Wines, they are known for producing some less common varietals, Zinfandel and Durif being two of the ones they make. The Zinfandel was the preferred wine for us with Luke and I both purchasing a bottle. I think the palate easily helped my imagination pairing it with a lovely tomato and olive based pasta.
After this vineyard we were also pointed towards seeing some of the oldest Cab Sauv vines in the world, this happening after the dreadful phylloxera wiped out a lot of the older vines in Europe. It was just incredible to see the knarled vines that were still producing fruit today!
All in all a great first visit to Langhorne Creek, and we’ll definitely be back again!