Medallion Homes

Explore Langhorne Creek:

South Australia’s hidden wine treasure.

You can count this region’s cellar doors on two hands but what it lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality, rural charm and community spirit.

It takes less than an hour to get to Langhorne Creek, yet it feels like a world away. The leisurely drive is a wildlife spotter’s delight. Grazing horses, birds, kangaroos, cattle, and a patchwork of canola crops, sunbaked paddocks, bushland, and vineyards dot the journey between the Adelaide Hills and the Coorong.

The charm begins with a roadside stall where seasonal vegetables from nearby farms can be purchased through an ‘money box’ honour system. Listen closely and you’ll hear a local man singing ditties about potatoes (it is played on a loop over a small speaker located above the pumpkins – rural eccentricity at its best).

That’s the beauty of this region. No tourist traps or tacky cafes selling mediocre coffee, just cellar doors surrounded by towering gums, floodplains, horseradish crops (Rusticana wines and Newman’s Horseradish), and a handful of winery restaurants offer wonderful meals – seven days a week.

Lake Breeze winemaker Greg Follett believes part of the region’s charm is its humility. “It’s what going to South Australian wine regions like the Barossa and McLaren Vale were like 20 years ago,” Greg says. “Come here and you’ll probably end up talking to the winemaker or a member of their family.”

Ask the locals about ‘The Lake Doctor’ – the name given to the wind that whips across nearby Lake Alexandrina (a 600-square-kilometre freshwater beauty) and kisses the vines, moderating summer heat, and mitigates winter frosts. Lake Breeze Wines was named after the natural phenomenon and is a must-visit when exploring the region.

The Follett family has grown grapes on the same patch of Langhorne Creek dirt for more that 130 years. The impressive Lake Breeze cellar door (a renovated 1930s limestone shed) opened in 1991 and looks out over the old vines. It’s a great place for what is arguably one of the best platters in the state and a stellar menu prepared by head chef Ben McRae. Be sure to try the Lamb and stout pie (made with local Meechi Brewing Company).

The full, award-winning range of wines (including Bordeaux blend Arthur’s Reserve 2014 and the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon) can be tasted over lunch, seven days a week. The views make it a popular spot for weddings and during November, the property fills with people and Australia’s top musicians for the annual Handpicked Festival.

Bremerton Wines is also a great place for a bite and a wine tasting. Sisters Rebecca and Lucy Willson run the business Rebecca makes the wines and after a recent expansion, the welcoming, family-friendly cellar door and providore (where you can purchase all types of delicious produce) has a large outdoor area in which to soak up the sun. A third of the wines are exclusive to the cellar and special releases, sparkling wines, fortifieds and gins are part of the offering, as are ongoing art exhibitions.

The Winehouse is also a great lunch option, open Thursday-to-Monday. Watch tractors roll through nearby vineyards as you chow down on a memorable Crispy Asian Style Chicken Wings, and soul warming Beef Cheeks Bourguignon. It’s also a hotspot for sweet tooths; Grandma Lorna’s House Made Scones with whipped cream and house made jam are worth a visit alone.

For a charming dose of history, Bleasdale is a must-visit. The award-winning Beyond the Cellar Door Tour provides access to parts of the winery and property not usually open to the public (you’ll even get a bird’s-eye view from the top of the towering wine tanks. There, you can experience the vision Frank Potts had when he established Bleasdale Vineyards in 1850 and developed a system of levees and floodgates to deliver precious water to vines.

For a touch of modernity, the Kimbolton Wines cellar door is an aesthetic hit. It was created using industrial shipping containers and provides a multi-level view across the family-owned vineyards. There, regional artisan cheese and wine flights (the Malbec and alternative varieties are must-tries), grazing platters, and relaxed wine tastings are led by enthusiastic staff. Little ones are well looked after with a dedicated Kids Flight and outdoor games.

If you plan to turn a lazy drive into a long weekend, Lake Breeze offers wonderful accommodation, while and in the nearby lakeside town of Milang, the lovingly restored Old Police Station (Ecurie-Osity Milang) is great for couples and is a character-packed place to hide from the world.

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