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The gift of Langhorne Creek fruit

By Monday 11 December 2023January 19th, 2024No Comments

Following the success of the first two vintages, the Langhorne Creek initiative ‘Project 5255’ will return for the 2024 vintage.

Shining a spotlight on Langhorne Creek, Project 5255 offers three winemakers from other Australian wine regions the chance to discover a new grapegrowing region and create a limited edition 100 percent Langhorne Creek wine under their own label.

Two tonnes of premium fruit of their choice are gifted to each winemaker with mentoring support from seasoned Langhorne Creek grapegrowers and producers throughout the year, from a successful harvest through to bottling.

Langhorne Creek Grape & Wine Winemaker Committee chair Sam Watkins said Project 5255 was so successful the first time around that it attracted national attention for the second vintage in 2022, and he expects the same to happen for 2024.

“We were overwhelmed with the level of interest for the project in its second year. Not only did we receive winemakers applying from across South Australia, but we also received several from interstate,” Sam said.

“The calibre of the applicants for each round was outstanding and the finished wines created a real buzz in the industry. We were even contacted by 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 the project is doing just that, which we’re really proud of.”

The first two rounds of Project 5255 delivered six outstanding Langhorne Creek wines, each receiving high praise from wine writers around Australia. One of these wines even saw South Australian winemaker Charlotte Hardy of Charlotte Dalton Wines, take home the top gong of Young Gun of Wine.

Charlotte Hardy said, “I found the project to be one of those uplifting things you are lucky enough to do in your career that really changes your thinking and direction. I could not recommend this project more.

“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!”

Also part of the inaugural 2020 vintage were Rob Mack of Aphelion Wines and Turon White of Turon Wines, delivering a Malbec and a Grenache.

In 2022, Natillie Johnston of Tillie J Wines in the Yarra Valley became the first interstate participant, producing a one-off Grenache, together with South Australian winemakers Riley Harrison from Harrison Wines who delivered a Malbec, and Greg Clack and Kate Horstmann from XO Wines who mixed it up with a Langhorne Creek Prosecco.

Following their involvement with Project 5255, several of the winemakers continue to work with Langhorne Creek fruit.

Langhorne Creek is one of Australia’s largest viticulture regions and is home to multi-award-winning wines and wineries.

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

Applications for Vintage 2024 close on 18 December 2023.

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