Langton’s Top 50 Trailblazing Wineries
Wednesday, May 12, 2021 in News
Langton’s Top 50 Trailblazing Wineries lists those Australian wineries that inspire and move us. They are the most consistent, innovative, and exciting wineries that fly the flag for their regions and Australian wine as an industry and a community. From trailblazers to traditionalists, we’re proud to salute them and always happy to taste and share these often unsung wines. Browse, bid and shop for wines from these standout wineries.
The inspiration for the Top 50 came about through the tumult of 2020. We were all shut down, locked in, and stressed out. For many of our friends and partners in the industry, the pandemic came on the heels of the back-to-back challenges (to put it mildly) of bushfires and drought. While these various natural events seemed to conspire to kick this industry when it was down, they perhaps didn’t recognise that, as a community, we were far from out. Australian growers and winemakers have raised resilience to an art form through generations on land that taxes in blood, sweat and tears those who work it. In spite of those challenges, or perhaps because of them, the wines we produce here are special.
Langton’s Top 50 comprises wine from South Australia (14), Victoria (12), Western Australia (12), Tasmania (8) and New South Wales (4).
Langton’s Top 50 - South Australia
Fully 14 of the wines in our Langton’s Top 50 hail from South Australia, with a strong showing from McLaren Vale. Yangarra Estate’s high standards and lofty ambition has been a beacon for the Vale, drawing attention to the region’s various studies in Grenache and its quiet renaissance. We’re always delighted to see good guys get up and in Alex Head (Head Wines) and John Hughes (Rieslingfreak), that’s certainly the case.
McLaren Vale – Aphelion, Bekkers, Chalk Hill, Samuel's Gorge, SC Pannell, and Yangarra Estate. Barossa Valley – Head Head, Schild Estate, Spinifex, and Teusner. Eden Valley – Sons of Eden and Pikes. Rieslingfreak – Clare Valley. Adelaide Hills – Ochota Barrels.
Langton’s Top 50 - Victoria
It will come as little surprise that the Yarra Valley is the leading light when it comes to Victoria’s showing in Langton’s Top 50. The welcome return to form of 10 Minutes X Tractor, the consistency of quality from Soumah and the charming idiosyncrasies of William Downie makes diversity the watchword for the Yarra – high quality whatever they turn their gnarled hands to, clearly.
Yarra Valley – 10 Minutes X Tractor, Bicknell FC, Giantsteps, Serrat, Seville Estate, Soumah, William Downie, and Yering Station. Geelong – Clyde Park. Grampians – AT Richardson. Macedon Ranges – Curly Flat. Beechworth – Fighting Gully Road.
Langton’s Top 50 - Western Australia
As above, there are a dozen entries for WA and, as above, the state is dominated by a single region, Margaret River. Margaret has a habit of summoning the green eyed monster in other regions with its cavalcade of enviable vintages. From the eyebrow raising (but long overdue) ambitions of Cloudburst to the Julian Langworthy show at Deep Woods—where he is chief winemaker—and Nocturne–where he and his wife Alana delve gnomishly into sub-regional obsessions.
Margaret River – Cloudburst, Credaro, Deep Woods, Devil's Lair, Flametree, Flowstone, Larry Cherubino, McHenry Hohnen Vintners, and Nocturne Wines. Great Southern – Duke's Vineyard. Frankland River – Frankland Estate.
Langton’s Top 50 - Tasmania
The little island that could has secured no less than eight berths in Langton’s Top 50. The Tasmanian wine lobby at Langton’s HQ grows year by year. The lack of GIs on the island, while frustrating to some, makes Tasmania the ideal region for discovery. Indulging in arguments about the island’s best wine, style or sub-region is part of the pleasure here. Be it Peter Dredge’s countercultural élan, Ed Carr’s softly spoken mastery of méthdoe traditionelle or the rapier-like precision Tolpuddle, it’s hard to describe Tasmania as anything other than Australia’s most exciting wine region.
Tasmania – Chatto Wines, Dawson and James, Dr Edge, Josef Chromy, Pooley, Stefano Lubiana, Tolpuddle, and House of Arras.
Langton’s Top 50 - New South Wales
There’s more to New South Wales wine than the Hunter Valley. A new energy is noticeable across the state and a spirit of exploration and innovation, taking risks and trying new things albeit at smaller scales. New South Wales has the fewest wineries in this list but may embody the Langton’s Top 50 more fully than any other state. The multigenerational, incremental pursuit of better by the De Iuliis family, the can’t miss Gundagai wines from Nick Spencer, the deftness of touch apparent in Liz Silkman’s sublime wines and Bryan Martin’s desperate bid not to take things too seriously yet, in so doing, making Ravensworth a bellwether of good taste on any wine list. Exciting times.
New South Wales – De Iuliis, Nick Spencer Wines, Silkman, and Ravensworth.
There are many wineries that were close to making the cut for Langton’s Top 50, and any could have made a strong case for inclusion. Each winery on the list reassures with their name that regardless of variety, style, or vintage, what we pour will be a wine of substance and integrity. Here’s to the Top 50.
Browse, bid and shop for wines from these standout wineries.