Ever been to Langhorne Creek? I bet some of you have never heard of it, let alone know that is one of South Australia’s premium wine producing regions. As the weather warms up and we head into summer, there has never been a better time to go and check it out, and here’s why.
Kimbolton Wines recently won Best Architecture and Landscape in South Australia at the Best of Wine Tourism Awards. Thanks to their new architecturally designed Cellar Door built from repurposed shipping containers, Kimbolton Wines and the Langhorne Creek wine region are now firmly marked on the map.
As I enter the tasting room, I am instantly taken by the space. The use of feature ply, recycled floorboards and the high gloss navy tasting bench, gives the Cellar Door a warm but modern vibe. Large windows draw visitors deeper into the building and out into an open space where one can sit and enjoy a glass of wine while admiring the sweeping views of the vineyards.
The building sits amongst established gum trees and is skirted by decking. It is slightly elevated above the vineyard and feels as though you are floating above it. There is a true sense of connection to the landscape.
The outsides of the shipping containers are covered in recycled cladding in some sections, allowing the architectural piece to become integrated into its surroundings. There is a rooftop viewing deck that allows visitors to have elevated views of the vineyard and to take some great insta shots without disturbing the vines.
Nicole Clarke, who runs the business with her Brother Brad Case, initially wanted to renovate their grandparent’s home, but after consulting with a builder, she decided to get creative. She engaged architect Damien Chwalisz, to design the Cellar Door using repurposed shipping containers and recycled timber, and the rest is history!
Building a Cellar Door from repurposed shipping containers was, Nicole admits, “outside of her comfort zone,” but it has completely paid off. When asked what the award means for Kimbolton Wines, Nicole explains that “it’s been massive” in terms of putting the business and Langhorne Creek as a region on the world stage. “As a region, Langhorne Creek is really gaining momentum. It is great that we have the recognition for the things the region has already been doing for decades.”
Langhorne Creek is unique in terms of its climate. While it is hot and dry like the Barossa, the vineyards benefit from cooling afternoon breezes from Lake Alexandrina. This means that there is great diurnal range between day and night time temperatures that allows producers in Langhorne Creek to make complex wines that retain their acidity and freshness. Langhorne Creek wines have also successfully demonstrated their ability to age overtime.
The traditional varietals grown in the region include Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. In fact, Langhorne Creek is home to some of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon Vines in the world.
Shiraz and Cabernet are traditional to the region and form the foundation of the Kimbolton brand, but alternative varieties such as Montepulciano, Carignan and Fiano are becoming a bigger part of the story.
The Italian variety, Montepulciano, has been demonstrating some hero qualities such as its tolerance to heat, and its versatility in terms of winemaking styles. Kimbolton Wines make a dry red Montepulciano, a dry Rosé and MOVE over sparkling Shiraz, because Kimbolton also make a delightful Sparkling Montepulciano! With a vibrant ruby red colour and complex aromas of plum, black cherry and fruit cake, what’s not to love about the Bella Monte?!
Langhorne Creek is only a 55-minute drive from Adelaide, nestled between the Adelaide Hills and Lake Alexandrina. Kimbolton Wines is one of many Cellar Doors in the region producing wines with substance, style and a sense of place. So why not jump in the car this week, and head to Langhorne Creek!
Written by Mariette Morris, 2019 Wine Media Cadet