The Longhop and Old Plains range of wines are produced by Domenic Torzi and Tim Freeland. The former Gawler high school mates first mooted the idea of making icon wines from the Adelaide Plains in 2002. Vineyards were secured, the requirement being old vines a priority. The small band of growers have embraced the ideal of delivering premium grapes in order to showcase the power and rich fruit flavours the Adelaide Plains has to offer.
Great wine begins in the vineyard and for Old Plains and Longhop nothing is more important. The source vineyards are all unique, remnant plantings that have survived urban expansion and the pursuit of other agricultural profits. They also escaped the vine pull schemes that were popular during the 1980s.
These government sponsored schemes saw old, low yielding vines uprooted with the help of subsidies and replaced by cash crops of vegetables and wheat. In some instances vast tracts of old vine shiraz was replaced by chardonnay! What a waste. The remaing small vineyards are true masterpieces of wine grape flavour, weathered, gnarly and magnificent in their defiance of commercial expansion.
The American importer of Old Plains and Longhop wines, Vine Street Imports hosted their first ever range tasting at Philadelphia in 2008. With 20 plus Australian and New Zealand winemakers in attendance, Vine Street sent out invites across the US states to distributors, retailers and trade punters. With approx 120 wines on offer and approx 400 attendees on the day, they were treated to possibly the most diverse wines ever shown in USA. Old Plains launched Raw Power Shiraz with great success, described as the wine of the tasting for delivering value for money, quality and a sharp marketing edge. American consumers have since embraced Raw Power for its sheer quality.