2022 Vintage Report

In Langhorne Creek mid-winter rainfall was above average and a few riverside vineyards also received a small flood giving the soil a good soak. The rainfall however ceased quickly in September, enough for a mild frost which affected a few blocks but not significantly. 

The spring was challenging with cold wind and rain extending the flowering period for up to 4-5 weeks. The fruit-set seemed very uneven and was a concern for harvest planning but the moderate crops and mild ripening conditions appeared to balance vines and improve the uniformity of ripening. The summer was generally quite cool due to La Nina, with some minor rain in January and February helping to nurse the vines through to harvest. Fortunately we didn’t suffer the east coast deluge with below average rain but cool conditions from mid-February through until mid-April making life easy.

As per usual, cooling breezes from ‘The Lake’ helped to maintain excellent natural acidity, with Langhorne Creek temperatures considerably cooler than all other central regions, particularly Adelaide, and Barossa and all but the coolest parts of the Adelaide Hills. Extended periods of southerly air streams kept conditions cool with excellent flavour and acidity exceeding usual high standards in all red varieties.   

The February harvest of Verdelho started a few days later than average on the 10th, with local reds following very soon afterwards. Adelaide Hills whites ripened much later than usual with our white harvest coinciding with the middle of Langhorne Creek red harvest. This caused some significant logistical challenges, but the pace of the vintage was steady and we we’re able to pick all blocks with great flavour and moderate alcohol.  Moderate crops and ripening conditions drove the steady harvest pattern and allowed full-flavour ripeness for medium and full-bodied wines with most red fruit being ready for harvest with good colour, tannin and acidity at 12.5-13.5 Baumé. 

It is difficult for me to believe that this year could be better than 2021, but this vintageI think is the best I have experienced in Langhorne Creek. Perhaps it is the ripening and vintage conditions, but after 15 years of continuous improvement at Bleasdale; both vineyard and cellar I think that we are reaping the rewards of investment into our vines, equipment, people and culture and may be experiencing a better vintage than most.  I am also finding it difficult to highlight the standout varieties from V22; Malbec and Cabernet are certainly very strong, as is Shiraz, Grenache and Petit Verdot, everything else is also above average. Adelaide Hills is also very strong and I think the Chardonnay may be the best we have made, whilst Riesling, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc are all amongst our best vintages. As it has been said; you can make great wine every year, it just depends on how hard you are willing to work.


Paul Hotker