Project 5255 is a collaboration between growers and winemakers from Langhorne Creek to provide an opportunity for three winemakers from outside the region to create a 100% Langhorne Creek wine under their own label.

Two tonnes of premium fruit of their choice are gifted to each winemaker with mentoring support and guidance throughout the year from harvest through to bottling.

The first vintage in 2020 delivered a sell-out Fiano, a spicy Grenache and an exciting Malbec made by three young winemakers from different regions across the State.

Langhorne Creek Grape & Wine Winemaker Committee Chair Sam Watkins said the Project 5255 concept was so well received the first time around that it attracted national attention for the second vintage in 2022.

“We were overwhelmed with the level of interest for the project in its second year. Not only did we receive winemakers applying from every wine region in the State, but we also received several from interstate,” Sam said. “Despite COVID challenges, we committed to extend our project beyond SA borders to elevate this project to new levels.”

Natillie Johnston, Riley Harrison and Greg Clack

The three successful participants for V22 were Natillie Johnston from Tillie J Wines in the Yarra Valley, and South Australian winemakers Riley Harrison from Harrison Wines and Greg Clack and and Kate Horstmann from XO Wines.

Natillie Johnston of Tillie J Wines in the Yarra Valley was the first interstate participant for Project 5255 and produced a one-off Grenache.

Tillie said, “This Project was such a fantastic opportunity for small, up and coming producers such as myself to find their groove and express their winemaking skills. I took great inspiration from the success Charlotte Dalton Wines has experienced from this program. I also strongly believe that opportunities such as this can lead to amazing outcomes when done in conjunction with sound advice from established mentors along the way.”

Riley Harrison of Harrison Wine made a Malbec, a wine that has become synonymous with Langhorne Creek.

“While it’s incredibly exciting to have the opportunity to sink my winemaking teeth into some malbec grapes, a large part of my attraction to Project 5255 was driven by the opportunity to spend time within a wine community that I have long admired,” Riley said.

Duo Greg Clack and Kate Horstmann of XO Wine Co made a Prosecco. The pair saw the project as a great way to showcase the quality of the region’s fruit and ‘taste of the terroir.’

Langhorne Creek is one of Australia’s largest viticulture regions and is home to multi-award-winning wines and wineries. The project can be followed through Langhorne Creek Grape and Wine social channels.