Bleasdale

Langhorne Creek ,  Australia

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Bleasdale’s vineyards were founded in 1850 by Frank Potts, making Bleasdale one of Australia's oldest family-owned wineries. Having just celebrated its 150th anniversary, it is the second oldest continuously operated family-owned winery besides Yalumba located in the Barossa Valley.
Steeped in tradition and history, Bleasdale was established in 1850 by Frank Potts. Potts was one of South Australia's original settlers having landed in Adelaide on the HMS Buffalo in 1836. While passing through the district on his way to be ferry master, Frank Potts saw the potential of the natural flooded areas on either side of the River Bremer. On the 4th April, 1850, Mr. Potts acquired 120 acres of land at Langhorne Creek for which he paid $1 per acre. He set about planting crops and, in the early 1860’s, the vineyards. The first vines, 30 acres in all, consisted principally of Shiraz and Verdelho.
In building the winery Frank Potts utilized the local redgum timber in vats, buildings, tools and the famous redgum lever press.
Potts was a man of extraordinary natural talents - he worked well with his hands as well as his brain. His abilities and accomplishments are part of the legends of South Australian folklore, representing the courage and resourcefulness of all the stalwarts of South Australian colonization.
Bleasdale today is owned and operated by fourth and fifth generation members of the family. Bleasdale's winemakers are Michaels Potts and Renae Hirsch.

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Although Bleasdale is firmly connected to its past, it is nonetheless forward-looking with its eye on the 21st century. A new cellar is just now being completed with state-of-the-art technology, alongside a new hospitality area. The old part of the winery is on the National Trust and National Heritage register, the main focal point being the huge old red gum lever press that was used from its inception in 1892 until 1962. The new additions to the winery along with the original structures will combine with sensitivity its historical past with the modern era as it marches forward into the future.
Bleasdale, which has 50 hectares under production, produces around 100,000 cases in total. The principal varietals are Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Malbec and the white varietal Verdelho. All the red wines produce the distinctive style of upfront fruit with a soft textural feel to them. They produce in limited quantities a red blend that is named Frank Potts after the founder and uses all five Bordeaux varietals. It is the winery's flagship wine and for the money represents one of the better values in all of Australia. It is definitely a statement wine and illustrates the high quality of fruit that comes out of the Langhorne Creek area.

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Situated 80 km southeast of Adelaide in South Australia along the banks of the Bremer river is one of Australia's more important yet less known viticultural regions. Many a consumer has tried a bottle of wine that was produced from grapes grown in the Langhorne Creek area without even realizing it. The area has been a source of juice for many large-scale producers who use the region's soft and fruity wines as a base for their commercial wines.
The vineyards of Langhorne Creek consist of approximately 2,000 hectares planted on the naturally flooded plains on either side of the River Bremer and now in the surrounding area.

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On the floodplain a system of floodgates, banks and ditches helps regulate the inundation of the vineyards several times during the winter supplementing the low natural rainfall. The Shiraz and Cabernet for which the area is renowned grow especially well on these rich alluvial soils. The cooling breezes from nearby Lake Alexandrina temper the hot summer weather giving a cool-climate effect in this premium area.
More recently the area under vines has more than tripled from the original 600 hectares as water has been brought from the lake, enabling large plantings off the floodplain. Red grapes still predominate as the area's qualities are realized.
The region is a predominantly red wine area. The mild climate helps produce grapes that are extremely fruity, soft and fragrant with some gentle minty overtones, but very rarely herbaceous and never tannic. The regional hallmark is soft-textured with a wonderful expression of varietal character almost always in the red berry spectrum.