A lot has happened in the Langhorne Creek Wine Region over the past decade. New cellar doors have opened and expanded, more regionally-inspired menus are on offer, an all-year-round event list keeps growing and the range of award-winning wines is now complemented by local craft beers and small batch gin.
In the short space of a few years, Langhorne Creek has gone from being that wine region you might head to if you’re passing through, to an all-encompassing full-day experience of the senses.
Above: Part of the new Bremerton Wines cellar door redevelopment.
One of the wineries leading the charge is Bremerton Wines. The team completed its $1 million tasting room and cellar door redevelopment back in 2020 and have not slowed down since. Now they’re mixing themes of heritage with modern style to provide you with one of South Australia’s most beautiful winery experiences for the whole family.
But if that’s not enough to convince you to visit this summer, then check out our top 6 reasons below:
The architect who designed Bremerton’s new space deserves a gold star, because this place combines beauty, function, form and taste, all in one place. What we love about the new-look cellar door venue, is it just feels so easy to relax, unwind and make the most of the tasting experience.
Above: The new Bremerton cellar door.
When you first arrive, you’re greeted by giant gum trees and expansive lush lawns, before walking through the beautiful wooden double doors to a perfectly polished tasting bar and regional produce providore. Here, the smiling faces of the Bremerton front of house team (which often includes the two owners – Lucy and Bec Willson) will help kick-start your visit with whatever you need. As you look around this main area you’ll find a fridge full of local artisan cheese, giant chocolate freckles, handmade treats, local art exhibitions and more.
Above: the front entrance to Bremerton Wines' new cellar door.
Once you’ve had a moment to take it all in, you can then explore the venue more – choosing whether to take a seat in the gorgeous old restored barn for a food and wine tasting experience, or taking up residence on the outdoor terrace, sprawled across the lawns, or anywhere in between. The beauty of the design, is that on those perfect Langhorne Creek wine tasting days, you don’t even need to head inside to order your food or drinks, you can simply pop your head through the new outside bar to be served.
They’ve thought of everything at the venue as well – offering up wooden games and balls to play with on the back lawns and a mix of undercover and open air space too. Plus your view out to the bright green vineyards, juxtaposed with hues of the historic parts of the building, is the perfect view for a day out.
(Also – if you look carefully, you might find some coins which have been permanently placed in the walls of the Bremerton buildings. It’s a tradition that the Willson family follow every time a new part of the winery is built, and offers a great little adventure for those wanting to explore a little more.)
The Bremerton team has thought of all tastes when it comes to their extensive wine list. One of the biggest and best in the region (and in SA), the 30+ long wine list includes award-winning drops in most popular categories.
Above: A wine flight being set up at Bremerton Wines redeveloped cellar door.
Depending on your taste, we would suggest setting yourself up for a tasting flight when you arrive to help navigate your favourite flavours. There are six flights to choose from – including the classic, white, red, alternative, premium and Willson gin. Each is served with a tasting plate of delectable bites as well (think dark chocolate, cured meat, cheese and more), all paired by the Willson sisters.
However, if you don’t fancy a tasting flight, a few of our favourites for summer are the ‘Dulcie’ NV Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot, ‘Wiggy’ 2017 Sparkling Chardonnay (both perfect for your staple summer bubbly) and aptly named after the family matriarchs.
Above: Some of Bremerton's sparkling varieties being poured.
Langhorne Creek is also well-known for its exceptional sparkling reds, and Bremerton’s ‘CHW’ 2018 Sparkling Shiraz is up there with the best in SA. This wine is named after the winery co-founder (Craig Hamilton Willson) and the first vintage was released in honour of him on his 60th birthday.
Otherwise, if you’re after something deliciously cold and crisp for the warmer days, then grab a few bottles of the ‘Mollie and Merle’ 2020 Verdelho, the ‘Betty and Lu’ 2021 Sauvignon Blanc or the 2021 ‘Racy Rosé’. Or for something slightly sweeter, try the 2021 Moscato.
If you’re still craving a red wine in the warmer months, then you should also taste the 2019 Bâtonnage Shiraz/Malbec. This exquisite red drinks beautifully all year round – a great drop worthy of your summer celebration list!
Above: Winemarker Rebecca Willson creating the Bremerton drops.
Other great reds for summer include the always on ‘Old Adam’ Shiraz and Bremerton’s special release 2019 Tempranillo/Graciano.
But honestly, you can’t go wrong with anything on their list.
On first glance, the menu at Bremerton of pizza and shared grazing platters might feel a bit familiar to what you’ve seen elsewhere. BUT – in true Bremerton style, the cellar door kitchen team does it all a little differently, and the tastes produced are magnificent.
Above: Graze for days at Bremerton with their locally-inspired produce plates.
The 9 different varieties of pizza all use local produce, ensuring that you get the freshest tastes possible. The dishes champion iconic regional flavours like Coorong Mullet, Alexandrina cheese, gorgonzola, pancetta, haloumi, chorizo, sundried tomatoes, mushroom, chilli jam and brie (to name a few). The flavours are the perfect complement to whatever you’re drinking on the day.
But don’t just stop at pizza, throw in some of the regional platters for your afternoon on the lawns as well. You can go with something smaller like a dip, baked brie or antipasto platter, or for the bigger groups test out the ploughman’s or gourmet cheese platters.
Above: Samples of some of the delicious menu on offer at Bremerton Wines, Langhorne Creek. Pic via @adelady.
And don’t forget dessert. The affogato, gelati, chocolate brownie or dessert pizza might be just what you need before the trip home.
(There’s also a great kids menu too for those bringing the whole family along.)
We’ve been informed from an insider recently, that there are new small batch gin flavours coming very soon from the Bremerton team. However, the Willson Small Batch Gin already has on offer its current flavours of Samphire & Sage, Citrus Burst and Original, all of which complement the other flavours on offer here in Langhorne Creek. (The limited release seasonal gin with Native Lemongrass and River Mint has just been released – and those visiting the cellar door in January can be some of the first to have a glass (but this isn’t included as part of the flight quite yet.)
Above: For something different, try a gin flight at Bremerton.
Also important to note – these guys are the only ones distilling gin in Langhorne Creek – so no matter where you start and finish your day in the region, Bremerton’s gin tasting flight should be a priority!
Speaking of the gin flight, this is perfect for warm days on the lawn, and gives you the chance to taste the three different varieties to work out which is your favourite before grabbing a bottle to take home from the cellar door. The flight is served up with the perfect garnishes (including our region’s very own Woodlane Orchard dehydrated citrus), and the team will talk you through what to expect as you work your way through them.
Above: The three varieties of Willson small batch gin available for purchase at Bremerton.
The gin has been created by chief winemaker (and now distiller) Rebecca Willson, and we promise that after a tasting, you’ll be just as in love with this batch, as you are with their wines.
One of our absolute favourite things about Langhorne Creek is the people. There’s no pomp or fanfare at the cellar doors – the experience is much more about fun, laughter and making sure everyone leaves with a great memory of their experience.
Above: Lucy (front) and Rebecca Willson (back) are the dynamic sister duo who drive Bremerton's exceptional winery experience.
The reason this is one of the region’s assets, is of course, the people.
Everyone who’s in the wine industry at Langhorne Creek – from those who make the wine, run the events and serve you at the cellar doors – are all there to share what they love about the regional flavours. In fact, most people leave feeling like they’ve come to know the families who run them!
Bremerton is no different, and this is thanks to sisters Rebecca and Lucy Willson, who are both meticulous about making sure everyone who walks through their doors, has a brilliant time. The team recruited to their front of house are always so friendly, and happy to answer your questions – and the team in the kitchen work to accommodate dietary requirements or any other needs of visitors. All of this combined means you can walk out of Bremerton and ask yourself: “how soon can I come back!?”.
Above: Lucy and Rebecca Willson in their vineyards at Langhorne Creek.
The Langhorne Creek Wine region is gaining a reputation of having some of the best wine experiences in South Australia. The relaxed nature of the people, coupled with the variety of cellar door styles means you can spend a full weekend exploring and find something new each time you visit.
Above: A bird's eye view of Langhorne Creek.
Let’s take Kimbolton Wines for example. This relatively new ‘kid’ to the cellar door block has come on strong, with it’s fun and fantastic (and impossible to miss) building architecture. Their rooftop deck gives you a 360-degree panoramic view of the vineyard, their beautiful interiors are jaw-dropping, their rosé is one of the best in SA, and they even offer a kids food and drink tasting plate and colouring kit to keep the little ones happy.
The team from Kimbolton also led the recent initiative to partner with Monarto Safari Park and five other wineries in the region to offer a six-pack of charity wines which support conservation at Monarto (ask the team about which wines you can buy to help this cause – it’s the double benefit of drinking great wine and supporting endangered animals at the same time).
Above: The Kimbolton Wines cellar door brings something different to Langhorne Creek.
It’s no wonder these guys (Kimbolton) were awarded a silver medal at the SA Tourism Awards this year in the ‘Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries’ category. A good chance to check them out might be at one of their Sunday events – check out more details on them here (including the fast-approaching ‘A Taste of Italy – Beats and Eats’ on Saturday, 8 January.
Above: A recent event at Kimbolton Wines (Satay Party!)
If you’re looking for some extra adventure during the summer, another nearby regional experience is a cruise with the Spirit of the Coorong team at Goolwa (this knowledgeable team will take you to some of the most magnificent places of the Coorong National Park – including the famous Murray Mouth).
Above: Take a cruise on the Spirit of the Coorong at nearby Goolwa.
Otherwise, it’s also a short drive to The Bend Motorsport Park (just cross over the ferry at Wellington), or only 20 minutes to Murray Bridge for some river time.
Above: Add in some adrenalin experiences at nearby The Bend Motorsport Park.
Whatever your summer plans are – make sure Langhorne Creek is on top of the list!