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Guest winemakers to again put Langhorne Creek grapes in a glass of their own

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A unique wine project that gifts Langhorne Creek grapes to emerging winemakers to produce bespoke drops will be back in 2022 following a successful debut in 2020.

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Wine Industry Special Report

The 5255 project – which honours Langhorne Creek’s postcode – launched in 2020 and attracted 26 applications from across South Australia and one from Queensland.

The first round of the project delivered three exceptional wines, one of which saw South Australian winemaker Charlotte Hardy of Charlotte Dalton Wines take home the top gong of Young Gun of Wine.

Shining a spotlight on the Langhorne Creek wine region, Project 5255 allows winemakers the chance to discover a grape-growing region that they may not have explored before to create a limited-edition small-batch wine under their own label.

In its first vintage, Rob Mack of Aphelion Wines, Hardy of Charlotte Dalton Wines and Turon White of Turon Wines delivered a Malbec, award-winning Fiano and Grenache, each receiving high praise from wine writers around Australia.

The development and delivery of the project is part of the South Australian Wine Industry Development Program as administered by SAWIA.

Langhorne Creek is home to some of the world’s oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines and produced the inaugural Jimmy Watson Trophy winner in 1962 – Australia’s most famous wine prize – when Stoneyfell’s 1961 Metala Cabernet Shiraz beat all-comers.

The region was also recognised in 2019 when Bleasdale Vineyards was awarded the 2019 Jimmy Watson Trophy for its 2018 The Wild Fig SGM.

Langhorne Creek, about an hour’s drive southeast of Adelaide, is Australia’s fourth-largest wine-producing region but is often overshadowed by the nearby wine hubs of McLaren Vale, Barossa and Adelaide Hills.

Following her involvement with Project 5255, Charlotte Hardy continues to work with Langhorne Creek fruit to deliver her Fiano which sold out within weeks of being released. Similarly, Turon White has committed again to his spicy, deep cherry note Grenache.

Charlotte Hardy said her involvement in the project really changed her thinking and direction.

“I entered the Langhorne Creek Project 5255 Fiano as one of my two wines for Young Gun of Wine – and won it – that seems like a pretty good endorsement,” she said.

Langhorne Creek Grape & Wine Winemaker Committee Chair, Sam Watkins said the project was hugely successful and after global recognition, was back to entice emerging or established winemakers to explore the region once again.

“We didn’t anticipate the level of interest we received for the inaugural Project 5255 which saw us receive more than 20 winemaker applications,” Sam said.

“The calibre of the applicants was outstanding, and the three finished wines created a real buzz in the industry nationally which is something we’re extremely proud of.”

“We even received feedback from an overseas wine region asking if they could replicate the program. Showcasing the terroir of the Creek and its premium fruit was always our number one objective and we think it’s doing just that.”

Anyone with a Producer’s License is eligible to apply for Project 5255.

Applications close on  November 15, 2021.

For full criteria and an application form visit https://www.langhornecreek.com/project-5255

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