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News Archive


SEPT 2016
Longhop Adelaide Hills
Premier Cuvee
Pinot Noir Chardonnay


Aperitif & Celebration - enhance the occasion

Our Longhop Premier Cuvee is sourced from the small hamlet village of Kersbrook in the beautiful panoramic Adelaide Hills. A traditional blend of sparkling grape varieties, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay; it exhibits a gorgeous rose gold blush as it presents with lifted strawberries, cherries and orchard fruits. It's wonderfully textured with excellent persistence that will enhance the aperitif and celebration occasions.

SOLD OUT

LONGHOP PREMIER CUVEE
1 X 750ml $25.00

PREMIER CUVEE TASTING NOTES




GRAVITY PONDS SHIRAZ - ICONIC ANCIENT & RARE
FOLLOW THE STORY HERE


News... News... News... 2016 grenache


Great grapes - the Gagliardi grenache 2016, some of the best we've seen.
Frank Gagliardi is another of our foundation growers, planting his small grenache vineyard at Munno Para in the 1960's.


Frank with son Pat, delivering 2016 fruit to the winery for processing


Frank's vineyard at Munno Para, now completely surrounded by housing. Notice the developers have allowed for a roadway through part of the block.
Frank's not budging, he'll wait until he's ready to move on. When we first started buying fruit from this vineyard it was surrounded by fields of golden wheat stubble.

Vintage 2016
Been and gone! There have been some pretty special wines made this year, but more on that later. We kicked off with 20 ton of Adelaide Plains shiraz on Feb 6th. This was machine harvested by a brand new Pellenc machine out of France, a state of the art grape harvester with onboard destemer and sorting table for the grapes, meaning only grapes and juice was delivered to the winery, absolutely superb in all aspects, the grapes were like black pearls in a sea of blood. We simply tipped the nally bins straight into open ferment, no pumping of must.

Speaking of no pumping there's a lot of chatter amongst the hipster circles about gravity fed wineries and gentle handling of must etc, lets just say Dom and myself have not pumped must in our winery for the last 10 years, we destem straight into nally bins then tip them into ferment, nothing new here.

James Halliday Wine Companion 2016
Here's a bit of trivia for you, did you know every Longhop wine reviewed in the latest Halliday Wine Companion received the accolade of "Special Value Wine".
Longhop Shiraz 91 *, Longhop Rose 90 *, Longhop Cabernet Sauvignon 90 *, Mistura Touriga 90 *, Longhop Pinot Gris 89 *
Special value meaning great bang for the consumers buck.

Gold for Longhop Shiraz
Great news, Longhop Shriaz 2014 picked up a gold medal at the China Wine and Spirit Awards in February, this comes on the back of the double gold at the same event for the 2013 Longhop Shiraz. It's an important Gold medal at the biggest and most prestigious wine and spirits competition in China.
The CWSA Judges traveled from each corner of Hong Kong, China and Taiwan to attend the blind tasting. Selected from the most prominent Sommeliers, Hoteliers, Retailers, Importers, and Distributors from throughout the region.


DOWNLOAD CWSA GOLD


Life in wine - one of our foundation vignerons


Joe Note with wife Antonia pictured in 2010 during the harvest of the old vine grenache


Old vine grenache 2010


Hand picked (above) Trophy winning wines from Angle Vale pictured below and right.

We mark the sad news that one of our foundation vignerons of the Adelaide Plains has passed away.

Giuseppe "Joe" Noto. Born in the Italian town of Molochio in 1932 passed away peacefully on August 6, 2015 aged 82 years.
Arriving from Calabria post WWII, Joe set about establishing his shiraz and grenache vineyards at Angle Vale in the early 1960's. They were some of the first, what were then, large scale plantings in the district.
The vineyards expanded slowly, it was all hard work and determination, to include a total of approx 50 acres by the 1970's.
It is worthwhile to note that a portion of Joe's vineyard was planted with rootstock supplied by the late Doug Collett of Woodstock winery at McLaren Vale.
Doug arrived at Angle Vale with a trailer load of vines for Joe. In return Joe dismantled one of his glass houses and trucked it down to McLaren Vale as a gift for Doug.
Joe's vines flourished at Angle Vale for decades with the local winery expanding to take in all the district fruit and a reputation of quality, consistency and show success followed for the Adelaide Plains wines.
It was the 1980's that the local wine industry started a downturn. With no demand for grapes, Joe was left with little financial choice but to uproot his vineyards and convert them into market gardens. It was not taken lightly, a heartbreaking decision as the vines Joe planted represented the first roots he put down in Australia.
As son Mario quoted "I woke up one Sunday morning and dad was on the tractor ripping the vineyard out."
This was the vine pull in one of its various guises. Some growers were paid by the government to uproot vines, others like Joe made the decision based on keeping food on the table for his family.
Joe, however kept a couple of rows of his original shiraz and grenache and these vines have formed part of the Old Plains wines since 2003. Joe retrellised the shiraz in 2006 and every year we hand pick approx one ton of fruit from these original foundation vines.
Joe was dearly loved and respected, we admired him for his vision, determination and passion he had for grape growing and winemaking. We will raise a glass and honor his memory for many vintages to come. Rest in peace Joe, it was a privilege to have know you. Tim Freeland & Dom Torzi.



Iconic new release - 2013 Power of One Shiraz



2013 Old Plains - Power of One Shiraz

This is a wine that really epitomizes who we are and what we stand for.

Since the inception of our small wine company back in 2002, the Power of One Shiraz has been our flagship.
Bringing
together some of the last remaining old vine vineyards that are dotted about the Adelaide Plains, the careful nurturing of these vines by the growers and the dedicated craft of traditional small batch wine making.
These vineyards have stood the test of time as many around them have made way for housing estates and market gardens. Credit to the growers and families who continue to support us in our endeavors.
We're very proud to be able to bring you this release, it reflects exactly why we started making wine, that was to salvage the last remaining old vines of the Adelaide Plains and showcase the power and purity they offer.
This vintage once again delivers everything we hope for in a wine. It's both comforting and familiar without being repetitious, it poses questions, keeps you searching your memory to recall that distant aroma or flavour and more importantly can simply be enjoyed with family and friends.

2013 POWER OF ONE SHIRAZ
1 X 750ml $35.00

2013 POWER OF ONE TASTING NOTES
 


2014 MLR - LONGHOP CABERNET SAUVIGNON
..."This is brilliant, clean, intelligently-made upland Cabernet: fine humourous and lively"... Philip White Indaily and Drinkster


Whole berry open ferment

Longhop Cabernet Sauvignon
Hand picked, whole berry open ferment, hand plunged, basket pressed, 12 months in French oak


Barrel filling

This vintage continues our impressive linage of Cabernet Sauvignon releases. Beautiful old vine fruit from the 'Plains combined with additions from upland Uleybury delivers a complex wine. Delicate blueberries and violets move onto deeper blackberries and mulberries on the palate. The length of the wine continues to build with fine acid and tannin rounding out the clean elongated finish. Superb drinking.

DOWNLOAD CAB SAUV TASTING NOTES

DOWNLOAD CAB SAUV REVIEWS


New Release - 2015 Adelaide Hills Pinot Gris


Lenswood pinot gris vineyard

2015 LONGHOP
ADELAIDE HILLS PINOT GRIS

The Adelaide Hills wine region is renowned for its quality wines. With its cool climate, pristine conditions, dedicated vignerons and winemakers we're proud to offer this exciting new release.
Sourced from the Lenswood sub-region at an altitude of 550 metres the fruit does all the talking, delivering a wine of elegance and class at an every day affordable price, another quality, bang for buck wine from the Longhop team.
The craft: Hand picked, partial whole bunch pressed, free run juice only. Natural cold settling for 12 days then racked with suspended solids remaining for natural ferment at low temperature for six weeks. Continuing with lees aging for another six weeks before racking and natural cold settling prior to bottling.
Tasting note: This wine has a beautiful distinct pinot gris blush glinting in the glsss. Lifted fresh pear and honeydew aromas and flavours glide across the palate joining with lively natural fruit acidity providing a perfect match for Asian and Mediterranean cusine.

DOWNLOAD TASTING NOTES


2015 They come as they are, vintage that is.


Grenache Rose from the basket press. The must is pressed for approx four hours extracting colour and flavour, the juice is then transferred to tank, cold settled then racked to barrel for ferment.


Old Vine Shiraz barrel filling. We pressed out appox 30t of shiraz over two days. Feb 21 & 22. Temperatures topped 44c on the pad
during that Saturday afternoon.


Cookin' Hot. Barrel filling had never been so much fun


Old Vine Shiraz at harvest Feb 14 on the Adelaide Plains

 

We were almost lulled into a false sense of security during early February 2015. Our Adelaide Plains old vines were ticking over nicely, healthy vines and canopies, low yields, baume rising slowly, flavours developing, acids intact. Fruit showing no ill effect caused by the dry conditions we'd encountered since September.
February 14th, exactly on average for our old vine 'Plains vineyards, we bought in the first fruit of the vintage, approx 30t hand picked shiraz across two days in superb condition. This was closely followed by the Ranges shiraz on Feb 17th.
This leisurely start came to an abrupt end as a couple of days in the high 30's sent the Barossa and Ranges into overdrive. Possibly the earliest picking on record for the Barossa, the wineries filled up by the end of Feb. Fermenting space was at an absolute premium.
As one Barossan put it "we used to have a vintage that was spread out over a lot of different varieties, now all we got is shiraz, no wonder everyone gets smashed with all the fruit coming in at once."
As the shiraz petered out, Grenache Rose and Cabernet Sauvignon fell into place, showing our distinctive varietal and regional characteristics and a superb return to top form and quality our Pinot Gris from Lenswood on March 4th.
It's early stages, but expect the Old Plains old vine gear to be some of the best around. They fermented beautifully, show lively fruit characters, depth and breadth and that gunbarrel glint only those great old plains can offer.
Just a quick note in regards to smoke taint. The Hills and Ranges surrounding Adelaide were engulfed in a large bushfire early January. Resulting in property and stock losses and destruction of vineyards. Our thoughts go out to those who suffered. The Hills and Ranges were blanketed in smoke for several days. As a result we conducted small batch ferments on all our Hills and Ranges vineyards prior to harvest, sensory evaluation has shown all fruit, red and white to be free of smoke taint.


Rossi Boots and Coopers Pale Ale, in our view the two staples of the wine industry.
 


 


2014 MISTURA - BAROSSA VALLEY
PORTUGUESE VARIETAL BLEND
TOURIGA NACIONAL, TINTA AMARELA, TINTA CAO

Since 2002, Domenic Torzi and Tim Freeland have hand crafted flavoursome wines from the regions surrounding Adelaide. This exclusive Barossa Valley release continues that tradition.


Historic terraced vineyards in the Douro Valley, Portugal. The site of the indigenous varieties used in the making of Mistura.


Australia's Barossa Valley has a long history since 1842 of wine production. It is the site of some of Australia's oldest plantings of native Portuguese varieties.

Wine Notes
Touriga Nacional, Tinta Amarela and Tinta Cao varieties are indigenous to the world heritage listed Douro Valley in Portugal. These varieties found their way to Australia's famous Barossa Valley, where in 1973 they were planted at the historic village of Stockwell.

Tasting note
This is a lovely modern, fruit driven wine, with expressive flavours, supple mouth feel and fine tannin. Perfectly enjoyed with progressive cuisine, such as tapas, spicy cured meats, antipasto and the like.

2014 MISTURA
BAROSSA VALLEY - PORTUGUESE BLEND
TOURIGA, AMARELA, CAO
1 X 750ml
$18.00

DOWNLOAD TASTING NOTES


DOWNLOAD REVIEWS


2013 LONGHOP SHIRAZ
91pts Campbell Mattinson "It's a comforting style of shiraz. It has some grunt but it's essentially soft, almost leathery..."

2013 is certainly living up to expectations in relation to vintage quality. The 2013 version of our Longhop Shiraz continues a tradition of over delivering in the quality to price stakes.
After carefully tasting and classifying the best barrels from the vintage this blend has come together exceptionally well. Plenty of luscious big fruit up front a power packed mid-palate that flows over the tongue with beautiful soft velvety tannins rounding out, we think its a beauty.

2013 LONGHOP SHIRAZ
$18.00

DOWNLOAD TASTING NOTES


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"$18! Santa Maria! Play that bit back will you Sancho? Santa friggin Maria!" Possibly the best quote ever attributed to one of our wines?

     

Longhop 2014 Rose

Philip White's onto it, the new release Longhop 2014 Rose has hit the streets and the reviews are echoing the quality and complexity of this great wine.
Made in the true Mediterranean Provencal style, using old, dry grown grenache. Barrel fermented, exhibiting a fine, complex structure, herb tinged fruit, finishing long and dry.

"...This is a very pretty and seductive rose with elegance, complexity and texture..." - Philip White

"...It's an energetic wine with lots of buoyant flavour. Delicious drinking option..." - Campbell Mattinson

"...Even straight out of the fridge it's expressive. Redskins, pink flowers and icing sugar with counterpoints of bouquet garni..." - Jeremy Pringle
 

2014 LONGHOP ROSE - 1 X 750ml $18.00

DOWNLOAD TASTING NOTES

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Mother Nature flexes her muscles - 2014 Vintage Report


Early vintage shiraz in ferment. We had about 30 ton of fruit packed in after the first week rush, this had us thinking, where are we going to put all these grapes? The season then broke on Feb 14th with widespread rain lowering grape baume for a week or two. Vintage proceeded at a somewhat leisurely pace after that.

2014 certainly presented its challenges. But the ability of grape growers, full time vignerons and winemakers to rise to the challenge has presented us with an amazing vintage.
Heat waves, flooding rains & bushfires throughout the Plains and Ranges kept us on our toes, what follows below is a brief vintage summary.
Good winter and early spring rains filled the soils. However a windy mid/late spring, with uneven fruit set and an extended flowering period coincided with Oct/Nov rainfall 70% below average. Tough hot and dry conditions continued through January with temperatures two degrees above average meaning yields were expected to be down.
Vintage commenced on Feb 9th with approx 20t of Adelaide Plains old vine fruit in remarkably good condition. We looked set for a huge rush of fruit due to the hot and dry season but Valentine's Day 2014 saw the vintage turned on its head. Widespread rain ensued throughout the Plains, Ranges, Hills and Barossa lowering grape baume for a week or two.
Cooler weather continued through February and March with vintage proceeding at a leisurely pace, vines freshened up, fruit filled, yields returned. Thick skinned and amazing full colouring of red juice the highlight, along with a burgeoning array of complex flavours across all varieties.


Old vine shiraz - first harvest of 2014


John G. old vine shiraz - Adelaide Plains

What started out as frantic planning and picking after a heat-wave has turned into a waiting game.
February 9th welcomed a cool change and signaled the start of Old Plains 2014 vintage. Four old vine shiraz vineyards in the Adelaide Plains were hand picked and processed the same day. Baume's were well in check ranging from 13 - 14, with the fruit in remarkably good condition despite the previous weeks warm weather.
These vines are tough old bastards, deep rooted, the fruit thick skinned, they just take whatever nature throws at them and just get on with growing glorious shiraz.
The fruit trucked through ferment before basket pressing, then barrelled down to finish the last of the ferment. Very aromatic, dark coloured juice, spice, heading into the blacker coarser spectrum of flavours are the early indicators. All in all very happy to have 20t off.
Later that week all were surprised to see up to 100mm of rain throughout the region. The handbrake has been well and truly ripped on, so to speak and the vines freshened up, they look good as we wait for the Baume's to rise. We've no reported berry damage throughout our vineyards, generally the remaining are on steep, free draining ground in the ranges, so we wait and look for things to do!
 


Fruit set, strap in for another year


John G. old vine shiraz - Adelaide Plains

There certainly seems like no rest as we hurtle towards another vintage. Growers are waiting with breath held as we approach the business end of the growing season, hoping for decent yields.
A quick tour around our Adelaide Plains, Mt Lofty Ranges and Hills vineyards shows a medium fruit set. Welcome rain on January second, of up to 15mm throughout the region will give the vines a boost and allow the berries to really fill out. The forecast of mild temperatures for the first 10 days of January also bode well for quality.
Further afield, Barossa growers have reported frost damage in some regions, likely to keep yields down and fruit prices rising.
 


The fast and the furious - 2013 vintage



2013 vintage - basket pressing old vine grenache

Fast and furious, probably the best way to briefly summarize our 2013 vintage. In what can only be described as one of our driest vintages on record, the fruit came in thick and fast. Dry conditions meant everything seemed to ripen at the same time!
Despite widespread reports of 30-50% drop of fruit yields throughout our region, we faired pretty well. Adelaide Plains old vine shiraz performed above expectations with a more scrutinized  pruning regime yielding immediate returns for growers. Old vine grenache from Gagliardi vineyard came in a full month early compared to average, showing unbelievable purity and varietal definition.
Our Bibaringa and Uleybury growers bore the brunt of the dry conditions, tonnages slightly down, although the fruit was pure and disease free whilst holding good acids.
Probably the highlight was the Lenswood Pinot Gris, simply stunning and well above expectations. Keep an eye out for this beauty mid 2013.
 


Another grand old girl bites the dust

Sadly we've lost one of our once finest vineyards to housing. The march of development across the Plains continues. Where once stood five acres of 50 year old shiraz and grenache, now replaced with 300sqm villa blocks. Its inevitable that these suburban blocks will go, we don't hold anyone to blame, just lament the loss of those beautiful dry land aged vines, the depth of flavour they produced was amazing. Sadly the old people have moved on and so also have the vines and the history they told.
This particular vineyard featured in the Old Plains wine portfolio from 2003 vintage right through 'til 2010, producing up to 5 tons of shriaz and grenache. 2007 vintage drought hit hard with only 680 kgs of shriaz harvested. The late heatwave of 2008 also wiped out all the grenache for that vintage.


The bare hands of old

Wow, we've just had the first review in for our new release 2011 Longhop Shiraz... Renowned wine writer Philip White will tell you more...



..."How they managed to squeeze this out of the horrid 2011 wet, I'll never know"...

2011 Longhop Shiraz, Philip White - Indaily

Longhop Mount Lofty Ranges Shiraz 2011
Philip White - Indaily, May 18th 2012 - 93++ points

Domenic Torzi and Tim Freeland continue to flabbergast me with incredibly cheap hand-made wines of soul and distinction. How they managed to squeeze this out of the horrid 2011 wet, I'll never know. You could put it down to finicky hand-selection of the bunches in the first place, which Torzi blithely does when he mention "the bare hands of old" but there's other more spiritual wizardry at work here. Like some other locals (all much more expensive, but) they've managed to make a French wine, turning the botrytis strike to their advantage. This lovely thing has a sweet chocolate custard and junket turn about it, along with all those blueberries, mulberries and blackberries. Fatty malo-lactic acids at work, no doubt, with the extra glycerols that freak year provided. It smells like Paris Creek Blueberry Yoghurt sometimes, like the best of Bandol or Cornas at others. The flavours are intense yet mellow and supple; the feel is silky until the velvety finish puts an appetising nap on your tongue. It's slender, lithe stuff. If it had come from France, you'd be forgiven for expecting another zero on the spend. I've got succulent chilli-marinated pork ribs in the smoker, but my bottle's nearly gone. Damn.
link to wines page - ORDER HERE


2012 vintage certainly looks the goods



2012 vintage barrel filling of the Old Plains Cabernet Sauvignon

In what seemed the blink of an eye the 2012 vintage came and went! Thankfully a full return to normal weather conditions and harvest timings was certainly appreciated.
Exceptional quality fruit, long, loose bunches, small berries allowing plenty of air flow ensured stunning results.
Old vine shiraz from the Adelaide Plains held higher acids, with full flavour achieved, the results look exceptional.
Of course, vintage wasn't without its usual hiccups, breakdowns and general chaos.
We currently have 13 different batches of wine, spread across four varieties from three different regions. The reds are all glucose and fructose dry and have commenced malolactic fermentation in barrel.
Our first release Longhop Pinot Gris from the Adelaide Hills is fermenting as we speak, early indication is promising for another stunner value Longhop wine. Stay tuned for release dates.


One of our best - 2009 Power of One Shiraz


 

Must cake from the basket press, showing whole berries.
French oak barrique barrel from the 2009 vintage

New Release wine - 2009 Power of One Shiraz
Without doubt, this is one of our best ever wines. It has everything that we strive for in showcasing the Adelaide Plains as a wine region. Its a complex and vinous offering,  oozing dark fruit flavour, with enough grip to get your lips smacking and gums chattering.
These Old Plains wines are made from some of the last remaining old vine vineyards in the 'Plains, hand picked, open fermented and basket pressed. Power of One was matured for 24 months in seasoned French oak barriques, with a sprinkling of new tight Russian holding the rails.
Fads come and go, people chase the next big thing in wine, we simply stick to our guns, stick to what we believe in, don't compromise on quality and deliver some of the best wine the country can offer, enjoy!

link to wines page - ORDER HERE

..."It's glorious, old-fashioned wine of bare-faced honesty and purity"...
2009 Power of One shiraz, Philip White - Indaily

...Slippery smooth, oak-struck, spicy and earthen "...
2009 Power of One shiraz, Campbell Mattinson - Winefront

DOWNLOAD 2009 POWER OF ONE
LATEST CRITICS REVIEWS


2010 Longhop "twins" set jaws flapping

Its been the culmination of a busy couple of months. Vintage 2011 was demanding, but all wines are now safely tucked away in barrel. Stay tuned in 12 months all will be revealed, we're quietly confident our 2011's will stand out.

In amongst vintage we released the 2010 Longhop Shiraz, now into its sixth vintage release, we've stuck by our existing formula. Vineyards from Gawler River, Angle Vale and Bibaringa/One Tree Hill regions provide a tremendous depth of flavour. Each region brings a different component. Gawler River, sandy alluvium soil, bright red fruit flavours. Angle Vale, provides the old vine component, clay/red loams over broken limestone gives plum, chocolate and gun-barrel glint. Bibaringa at 300 metres altitude, quartz, slate and limestone adds beautiful grip, it's genuinley lipsmackingly good.

For us the standout is our first release Longhop Cabernet Sauvignon. Fruit from our 50 year old Evanston Gardens vineyard, nestled amongst river red gums, sited on sandy loam, combined with a fair dash of One Tree Hill fruit, gives a unique take on this noble variety.

Both these wines have already received great reviews, their quality looks assured... read on

link to wines page - ORDER HERE

The Winefront By Campbell Mattinson

1st release  Longhop Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Tuesday, Apr 5 2011 - 92 Points 
A friend asked me recently whether it was still possible to find 'budget' reds that would cellar well. His thinking was: Can I buy something cheap and turn it into something better by stashing it at the bottom of a cupboard for five years?
A gave a long-winded answer, but I would have been better just opening a bottle of this Longhop Cabernet Sauvignon and saying, Yes. It's a bargain as a drink-now proposition, but it will cellar well for 4-8 years, if you so desire. Might even go longer than that. It tastes of blackcurrant, dust, eucalypt and toasty vanillin oak. It has enough tannin, but not too much. Enough flavour, without being in any way over-blown. It's the kind of balanced, well-made, well-flavoured, over-delivering wine that once upon a time put Australia on the map.

Longhop Shiraz 2010, Tuesday, Apr 5 2011 - 92 Points 
I'd probably drink this latest release Longhop Shiraz young but there's no reason why it shouldn't have a healthy life in the cellar - I wouldn't be surprised if it stretched out for longer than the drinking window provided.
It's ripping value. It's fleshy and flavoursome but dry and structured too. If this is an early indication of the quality of the 2010 South Australian red vintage, then we’re in for a treat. Blackberries, menthol, nutty oak and cloves. The texture's creamy, the flavour substantial, the length of flavour excellent. It's likely to be one of the best value reds of the year.

Philip White 12 April 2011 - Drankster, Drinkster & Indaily

2010 Longhop Shiraz - 91 +++ Points
Domenic Torzi and Tim Freeland consistently produce two suites of incredibly cheap, very high-quality, honest-to-goodness brands, Old Plains and Longhop, from the north Adelaide Plains and adjacent Mount Lofty Ranges. This wine comes from 15-year-old to more than 50-year-old vines at Munno Para, Angle Vale and One Tree Hill, all on the old-fashioned single-wire trellis. It reminds me of the Angle Vale QVS reds Max Schubert made for a time with Lindsay Stanley and Jack Minnett, before Jack let the houses eat their vineyard.
Max best summarised the regional style when he told me in 1984: "Halfway between the older, heavier, fuller style, and the new, light-bodied styles ... perhaps tending towards the heavier style (!)".
It's rich, spicy, aniseed-like wine, with an almost sinister fresh-hewn blackwood edge, which is from pips and skins as much as seasoned oak. It has no jam, but a tantalising elegance for its intensity, and will become a true beauty with five years under the house.

2010 Longhop Cabernet Sauvignon 92 +++ Points
It's wildly intense, licoricey, syrupy wine with sinblack tannins that suck all the blood clean outta your lips: Both these improve beautifully with an hour of decanter. Stunning value!


Old Vine Calling - Adelaide Plains

 

The new release Old Plains range

link to wines page

Were pleased to announce the new release of the 2008 Old Plains Old Vines Series. These wines are hand made from grapes grown in the last remaining old vine vineyards in the Adelaide Plains region of South Australia.
These vineyards were generally planted post WWII by Italian migrants, returned servicemen and ex POW's during the 50's.
They survived intact until the 80's when many were uprooted and replaced by cash crops, market gardens and almond groves.
Families generally left and acre or two or a couple of rows for the family cantina wine. Since 2002 Old Plains has been sourcing these grapes and have now combined all the old vine gear under the Old Plains label!
Full of power, they ooze all the dark fruit flavours that only hand made basket pressed wines can offer.
 


Unearthing the Adelaide Plains

Gagliardi vineyard Old Vine Grenache pictured top. Along with a couple of relics! Pickaxe stubbies burried under vine.

Vintage 2010 looks to be one of our finest efforts yet. Literally everything went according to plan.
Starting with shiraz from the old vine sites at Angle Vale and Gawler River, growers welcomed mild harvest conditions, the fruit, typically small berries in loose bunches, came in with sensational flavours, balanced acid and lower baumes.
Healthy conditioning of fruit was reflected across all our vineyards including the Bibaringa and One Tree Hill sites. Only one small batch of shiraz had a bit of sunburn.
Twenty Ten was also the year of the easy ferment! Wild yeasts got them ticking over, finishing off the last couple of points in barrel seems to really soften the wine.
Our new release One Tree Hill cabernet sauvignon also looks the goods. Grown at 300 metres altitude we think were onto something here.
Grenache suffered the effects of the November heat wave. Yields were well down on previous vintages, however the long mild summer really helped it along. Interestingly grenache harvest was our earliest on record. As for quality, the picture above of the Gagliardi old vine grenache tells the story. Awesome.
What an amazing vineyard, but typically under pressure from the villa block developers as gutter to gutter housing creeps closer.
We also stumbled across a couple of relics from the past. Pickaxe brand stubbies of Southwark Bitter, partially burried under vine. It gave a real sense of times gone by as we imagined a harvest completed, the slurping down of a couple of coldies at the end of a hot day.
The least we could do was the same, this time with a Coopers Dark.


Great, Great Gawler River Grenache

Pictured above - Old Vine Grenache at Hillier
Pictured right - Torzi and Freeland in one of the vineyards lost to villa rash, if you look closely you can see the scourge in the background spreading across the hills face and beyond.

 

We are forever on the lookout for old vine material in the Adelaide Plains, so it was with great delight that Domenic stumbled across a 50 year old planting along the banks of the Gawler River. Truly a great example of old school viticulture, planted and nurtured by the Manno family, we're delighted to welcome it into the Old Plains family. There is also a good whack of shiraz here aswell. Small berries and loose bunches, so vintage twenty ten looks the goods.
Not all good news though, two of our previous old vine vineyards have gone the way of the developer, soon to be villa rash (drinkster term for housing), these two small vineyards were at Munno Para West. Hardly iconic territory, but we loved them none the less.
Sad to see them go, seems the local council views these blocks like dominos, once one goes the rest will follow. Allegedly an adjacent block was subdivide forcing the neighbouring vineyard to be revalued as villa block, the council rate increase was supposedly so huge, no amount of shiraz was going to cover the increase.
 


Looking fine! Vintage 2009

Vintage 2009 came and went in what seemed the blink of an eye. We were struck with an early heat wave and thought here we go again, repeat of '08. Thankfully the heat subsided and vintage went smoothly. Ferments were healthy, fruit quality was excellent, despite some yield losses our 'Plains, Bibaringa and One Tree Hill fruit had great colour and flavour depth.
Undoubtly the standout is the '09 Grenache, picked a little earlier than previous vintages, during ferment and basket pressing the flavours were off the Richter Scale.
Pictured from top left: relaxing with a beer after a long day crushing. Grenache grapes from the Gagliardi vineyard and horses take an interest in harvest at Uleybury

 

2008 USA Range Tasting

The USA importer of Old Plains & Longhop wines, Vine Street Imports hosted their first ever range tasting in Philadelphia in September 2008. With 20 plus Australian and New Zealand winemakers in attendance, Vine Street sent out invites across the 'States to distributors, retailers and trade punters.
With approx 120 wines on offer and approx 400 attendees on the day, they were treated to possibly the most diverse "list" of wines ever shown in USA.
Old Plains launched Raw Power Shiraz with great success, described as the wine of the tasting for delivering value for money, quality and a sharp marketing edge, consumers in the US have since embraced Raw Power for its sheer quality.
Tim Freeland in attended for Old Plains, went onto Wichita in Kansas, for trade tastings, before attending the annual Corks for Kids charity event in North Carolina. A series of dinners, tastings and gala auction night combined to raise approx $75,000 for the North Carolina Childrens Hospital.

 

Stephen Tanzer reviews
By Josh Raynolds (link)

Published Sep/Oct 08

2008 Old Plains - Longhop La Quattro Adelaide Plains
28% each of chenin blanc and riesling and 22% each of semillon and sauvignon blanc) Pale silver. Citrus and orchard fruit aromas are complemented by dusty minerals and quinine. Racy, sharply focused pear and quince flavors pick up a refreshing lime zest quality with air. Brisk and pure white blend with excellent finishing lift and thrust. 89

2007 Old Plains - Longhop Shiraz Adelaide Plains
Inky ruby. Intensely spicy raspberry and blackberry on the nose, with vibrant minerality contributing energy. Youthful, primary red and dark berry skin flavors display impressive purity, with silky tannins adding gentle grip. An elegant, focused and strikingly graceful rendition of shiraz that finishes with excellent clarity and length. Pretty irresistible right now. 91

2007 Old Plains - Longhop Grenache Old Vine Adelaide Plains
Light, hazy red. Vibrant red berry aromas are complicated by white pepper, dried flowers and Asian spices. Fresh raspberry and red cherry flavors offer good juicy appeal, with supple tannins adding shape. Finishes with energetic snap and a lingering note of raspberry preserves. The fruit here is seductively pure. 90

About Stephen Tanzer (link)


True Blue - Big Red

Labeled as the ONLY guide for red wine drinkers in Australia the newly released "Big Red Wine Book" by renowned author Campbell Mattinson hit book shelves this week.

All we can say is check out No. 12 in the top 100 red wines at $20 or less.

Longhop Shiraz 2007
Released May 1st
"I thought the 2006 was good but this is a significant step up. Its a classy wine. Its rich with flavours of toast, blackberry, raspberry and kirsch, raisiny sweetness helping to plump out the core of it. This is one juicy little sucker. 92 points" Campbell Mattinson

Goto Wines Page (link)


Great News for Longhop fans

New release wines now available, including our first ever white.

World Premier of our "La Quattro" an old vine white from four varieties planted on the Adelaide Plains as early as 1953, fruit driven, dry, spice, citrus whilst great mineral acidity provides plenty of length.

Longhop shiraz, even better than last year, lobbed at No. 12 in Cam Mattinson's new book, need we say anymore apart from jump in.

Also our favourite, Old Vine Grenache, hot on the heels of last years success our baby will be turning more heads than Linda Blair. This one is limited in supply jump in quick

Go to Wines Page (link)


Squashed grapes = vintage 2008

Adelaide Plains shiraz, first press 2008. And what great juice it makes. The vintage has been kind with cooler temperatures, grape yields are up, timely rains really helped things along.
We're seeing peppery notes from some of the old vine fruit, great colours and smooth ferments. Also pleasing to note we haven't blow up the truck carting fruit and the new basket press is our new best friend.

 

Cellar Door sell out
Thanks to the great support of the wine buying public 2006 Longhop Shiraz is now sold out from our online cellar door.
For a small winery just entering the market, the wine was well reviewed by critics and the public alike. Showcasing what the Adelaide Plains can do year-in year-out producing a value packed wine, that oozes dark fruit flavours.
Stay tuned for the next installment due for release in May 2008.

Retail availability
Not all is lost, there are still retailers around the country with the wine in stock. Some of the Dan Murphy's stores, Edinburgh Cellars at Mitcham and a bit of sniffing around online retailers may unearth a few bottles. Good luck.

 

The Long road - USA road trip

Being a small wine company, sometimes its hard to get the big picture. With this in mind, Tim Freeland recently made his first visit to the USA as a guest of Vine Street Imports. Vine Street are the newly appointed importer of Old Plains and Longhop wines into the USA.
"It was a great experience, from west to east across the states the hospitality was superb, we dined in some great restaurants and visited some of the best bottle shops the US had to offer." Freeland said.
"On top of that, people were genuinely interested in our wines, but the competition is fierce, there's a huge amount of French, Italian and Spanish wine on their shelves, Old Plains and Longhop is looking to deliver bang for buck compared to the Europeans in the market", he said.
The tour consisted of visits to distributors and retailers, in-store retail tastings, hosting a wine charity dinner, pouring at trade shows and pouring at the annual "Corks for Kids" charity auction to benefit the North Carolina Children's Hospital. Three back vintage bottles of Old Plains shiraz ('03, '04 & '05) sold for $190USD at this event, proceeds to the hospital..
Freeland visited Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Milwaukee and North Carolina on the whirlwind 10 day tour.

Pictured Top: Left to right producers on tour: Peter MacDonald, Hunters; Tim Freeland, Old Plains; Ronnie Sanders, Vine Street Imports; Colin McBride, Some Young Punks; Billy Bowman, Bordeaux Fine & Rare Distribution; Kevin North, Hently Farm; John, First Drop; Stephen Black, Small Gully.
Pictured Middle: Signing bottles for charity auction in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Pictured Bottom: Trade tasting, Milwaukee.

 

Out Now - Latest Stephen Tanzer reviews
Internationally and critically acclaimed, Tanzer's International Wine Cellar is one of the foremost publications when it comes to wine reviews and advice, follow the link to our reviews page to read the latest from Tanzer on Old Plains and Longhop.


Shiraz Challenge at the Ed

Held recently at the Edinburgh hotel Mitcham, the annual shiraz challenge lived up to expectations. 700 punters through the door in scenes that resemble a mosh pit at the big day out for a great time. Possibly the best 20 bucks you could spend with over 200 wines on taste from producers big and small.
For Longhop and Old Plains the response was excellent, the Longhop shiraz is now available at the Ed Cellars, our first bottleshop listing in SA! And a great chance to meet some of our mail order customers face to face. As for awards top points for Torzi Matthews as they took best value wine under 20 bucks with Schist Rock Shiraz.


First Press 2007
We're underway! The first Old Plains shiraz fruit from the Adelaide Plains for 2007 has been picked, crushed, fermented and basket pressed this week. Hot weather has seen vintage arrive two weeks early on the Adelaide Plains. Despite the drought and November frosts the Old Plains and Longhop vineyards continue to produce outstanding quality fruits, plenty of chocolate, liquorice and blood fruit flavours to the fore.



94 points - Old Plains
"Power of One" Shiraz 2005

Old Plains Power of One Shiraz 2005. By Gary Walsh
This
comes off vines planted in the 1950's. Talk about flavour! No wonder Domenic Torzi is a bit light on in the hair department. This nearly blew my toupee off! I nearly always spit the wine when tasting but found this one very hard to resist. It's that sort of wine.
Lifted aromas of blackberry/raspberry, cassis, pepper, bitumen and sweet toasty vanilla oak. The palate is power packed and positively rippling with flavours of plum, blackberry, raspberry, tar, vanilla and spice. Tannins are buffed, polished and smooth yet still appropriately grainy and mouthcoating for a wine of this size. No doubt hidden to a certain extent under the weight of all that luxuriously fat fruit. A golden glow of alcohol is present throughout. Dry savoury finish of great length. If you like them big, bold and beautiful then look no further for this could well be the wine of your dreams.
Rated : 94 Points. Tasted : Sep06. Alcohol : 14.5%
Closure : Screwcap. Drink : 2006 - 2012
Article from Winorama: http://www.winorama.com.au


Wine Australia - Sydney July 2006

Wine Australia held in Sydney during July lived up to all expectations. Producers, big and small from all parts of Australia showcased their wine to thousands of wine buyers from around the world.
Old Plains, Longhop and the Torzi Matthews labels were stand-outs during the show. People were blow away with the quality and price of the wines. The story behind Old Plains and Longhop was told many a time during the weekend. Meeting customers, putting a face to a name and sharing a glass made for an enjoyable weekend.


"...Campbell Mattinson talks it up."

Renowned Australian wine writer Campbell Mattinson talks to Domenic Torzi about "The Plains" and gives us an insight into where the Old Plains and Longhop labels began

"...read the Winefront article here."


News: June 2006
New Distributors announced!

We continue to be unearthed offshore, meaning great news for the people of Denmark and Singapore.
Tom L. Pedersen from the Atomwine company  http://atomwine.dk has been appointed sole distributor for Old Plains and Longhop range of wines in Denmark. The first shipment is currently steaming to Denmark. Tom has great experience within the Danish market and has built a solid portfolio of wines from around the world. Old Plains and Longhop add another perspective to this range.

News: 2006 Vintage
2006 provided us with an exceptional quality vintage with somewhat cooler conditions than previous years. Our shiraz harvest was delayed by two weeks due to February rains, which meant fermenting space was at a premium as the cabernet sauvignon was picked around the same time. Fruit flavours were excellent. The grenache enjoyed the cooler weather (as did the grape pickers) and we used 25% whole bunch grenache in the open fermenter, the flavours are sure to excite. The wines are currently in barrel awaiting the first racking at the end of malo.

News: Longhop Boomerang Shiraz 2005
Our latest release wine has created quite a stir, not only is the wine excellent value, the striking label design sets it apart from the crowd. On closer inspection you will notice the top L taking a longhop, the horizon representing the Adelaide Plains, the bright blue sky and hot sun signals the great climate of the Adelaide Plains and finally, the lower L is in fact downunder. Take a closer look at the Longhop Boomerang Shiraz label.

News: Longhop Old Vine Grenache 2005
For too long grenache has been misunderstood and mistreated. Used in many a blend and given all sorts of acronyms to disguise and confuse. Here we have made a straight grenache, big and bold, with the Adelaide Plain really showing what its capable off in this wine.