Heartland is a collaboration between winemakers Ben Glaetzer (Glaetzer Wines, Barossa Valley), Scott Collett (Woodstock, McLaren Vale), wine industry professional Grant Tilbrook (Woodstock), and Nick Keukenmeester. Their idea was to make the most of the quality fruit being grown in Langhorne Creek, a lesser-known region southeast from Adelaide. The climate of Langhorne Creek is shaped by its proximity to Lake Alexandrina and the Southern Ocean. The topography is mainly flat, and the cool maritime climate allows long ripening for the grapes. Heartland focuses exclusively on red wines, in particular Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, as well as Malbec, Lagrein and Dolcetto. Glaetzer perceives his role as more of a guide rather than a maker, stating: ‘Fermentations are either like a lost tourist or a freight train. Either way, my job is to keep them on their tracks.’ The wine is made at Barossa Vintners, around 100km north of Langhorne Creek, in a state-of-the-art facility with a natural slope that allows gravity to do most of the work in favour of pumps. Since the first vintage in 2001, Heartland has received many awards for its wines, including a platinum medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards for their 2014 Director’s Cut Shiraz.
Heartland produces wines for all budget levels, from the ‘Spice Trader’ range, to the ‘Director’s Cut Shiraz and Cabernet’ and the ‘First Release Malbec’. Heartland’s flagship wine is called ‘One’, a blend of Cabernet and Shiraz, first released in 2012, which has received many awards for its ‘muscular shoulders’ and ’dense and concentrated fruit.’ Ben has stated that his favourite summer drinking wine is the ‘Foreign Correspondent’, a mix of Dolcetto with a dash of Lagrein, which sees no oak aging, thus preserving the fruit character, even when chilled.
For more information on Heartland and their wines, head to their website.