Italy, Langhorne Creek

Italy has some of the oldest wine production methods in the world and almost every part of the country is planted under vine. From the Alps in the north to the very southernmost parts of Sicily where Africa is almost in sight, wine is successfully cultivated. In addition to the latitude covered, Italy's many mountains and hills provide a plethora of altitudes for grape growing in various soils and micro-climates. The extensive coastlines along the peninsula that is Italy provide maritime climates for the coastal wine-growing areas. Over 350 grape varieties are 'authorised' in Italy, though up to 550 varieties are thought to be grown.

The classification system of Italian wines has four classes, with the intention of defining a wine's origin a quality. Two of these classes are table wines, whilst DOC and DOCG fall under the EU quality wine produced in a specific region category. Vino da Tavola (VDT) means that the wine comes from Italy. Most of these wines are generally basic table wines that are consumed domestically. Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) denotes a more specific region within Italy, and the resultant will be of higher quality than simple table wines, but won't conform to the rules required for higher certification. Both Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) are regionally more specific than IGT, and have stricter rules regarding the grape varieties grown, yields per hectare, minimum alcohol levels and so on. The major difference between DOC and DOCG is that the latter has to undergo a blind-tasting session to ensure the highest quality is achieved. Italy has 32 DOCG appelations, 311 DOC appelations and 120 IGT zones.

Key regions include Piedmont, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Veneto, Sicily and Sardinia. Common white varieties grown are Pinot Grigio, Arneis, Vermentino, Verdicchio, Fiano and Moscato. The red varieties grown the most are Sangiovese, Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, Primitivo, Nero d'Avola and Corvina.
Less than an hour drive south-east of Adelaide, you'll find the country town of Langhorne Creek. It's full of family winegrowers some who've been making wine in the area for up to six generations. It's most well known for producing red wines of high quality, in particular Cabernet and Shiraz.

Langhorne Creek experiences ocean breezes which moderate the otherwise warm climate. The town is on the banks of the north to south flowing Bremer River which flows on to Lake Alexandrina. The river frequently floods across the vineyards (particularly in winter) bringing up silts which contribute to the regions terroir.

Whilst it may still not be the most well known of South Australia's many wine regions, plenty of outstanding wine comes from there.
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  1. Luciano Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne 2016
    The nose is overflowing with fruit, with everything from strawberry compote to raspberry tea to chutney and boysenberry spread. There’s marvelous intensity and concentration to the palate, which is full-bodied and very long. The tannins have a grainy, grippy ... Learn More
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