In 1849, Frank Potts crossed the Bremer River and noticed the fertile floodplains of what was then known as Langhorne’s Crossing. Frank purchased the first Section of the new town of Langhorne Creek in 1850, and together with his new wife, cleared the land of its huge red gum trees and began farming. When Shiraz and Verdelho vines were planted a few years later, Bleasdale became the first winery established in Langhorne Creek.
Frank Potts liked building things – a home, a workshop, a winery, water pumps, floodgates, vats, a lever press and a dynasty. When he added more land to his original holding, the vineyard area expanded and so the winery, and the family, grew. In 40 years, the estate had transformed and the family became a significant part of the burgeoning wine industry in South Australia. The basis for a strong viable family estate was established.
Conditions for grape growing in Langhorne Creek are ideal thanks to the natural fertility of the floodplain soils, the ability of these soils to retain moisture from natural winter floods, and the moderation of the local climate by cooling evening breezes from nearby Lake Alexandrina and the Southern Ocean in summer. The red varieties thrive in this rich environment, which explains why over 75 per cent of all wine grapes grown are red wine grapes.
The harnessing of the natural flooding of the Bremer River by early grape growers makes the Langhorne Creek region quite unique. Having purchased 100 acres of land in 1850, Frank Potts developed a system of levees and floodgates to capture and divert a metre of water and nutrient rich silt across the entire vineyard. The vigour in growth caused by this natural abundance of water sometimes presented challenges, but it is now managed by modern viticultural practices.
Langhorne Creek experiences relatively low annual rainfall, so supplementary drip irrigation is used to provide the vines with every opportunity to produce optimal fruit. The soils for Bleasdale’s vineyards range from well drained, alluvial soils to brown loams over limestone.
The philosophy of the Bleasdale winemaking team is to capture the essence of what makes Langhorne Creek red wines so attractive – vibrancy, harmony and texture. Bleasdale is rich in history and producing some of Australia’s most exciting, consistently impressive premium wines. Bleasdale wine conveys a story in the glass that substantiates its history, diversity and increasingly, its pedigree.
The winemaking team’s philosophy is to allow the region to express naturally what it produces with minimal influence by winemaking. Each vintage, over 200 different parcels of wines are made, all expressing their own individuality based on micro-climate and soil type of the vineyards they have come from.