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Langmeil

The story of Langmeil is a pioneering one, beginning in 1838 when blacksmith Christian Auricht fled his native Prussia seeking a life free from religious persecution. After seven moves in five years he finally settled in Australia and started one of the Barossa Valley's first trading villages in 1842, calling it Langmeil, and this is where the winery resides today on the banks of the North Para River. Christian planted one acre of Shiraz vines in 1843 as part of his mixed farm and his legacy lives on in what is now Langmeil's Freedom Vineyard. This is thought to be one of the oldest surviving Shiraz vineyards in the world and the source of their icon wine: the fantastic and rare The Freedom 1943 Shiraz. In 1916 there was a lot of anti-German feeling because of the ongoing First World War, and many place names with German origins were changed under the Nomenclature Act. The village of Langmeil was changed to Bilyara, but today is known as the township of Tanuda. The first winery was established at Langmeil in 1932 by Theodor Hanisch, Christian's grandson, who called it Paradale. The winery passed to Theodor's son Arthur, but following his death in 1972 it was acquired by Bernkastel Wines who operated it under their own label. The 1980's were tough years for the Australian wine industry, resulting in an over-supply of grapes, and the government introduced a vine pull scheme. Bernkastel went into liquidation in 1988. The new owners used the cellar door to sell bin ends and the doors finally closed in 1993. They were not to reopen again until three years later. In 1996 three friends, Chris Bitter, and Carl and Richard Lindner, who were all fourth generation Barossans, collaborated to acquire the neglected and dilapidated estate. They painstakingly engineered a restoration programme of the historic property and refurbished the winery, naming it Langmeil after the original 1942 village. It was this trio who rediscovered the patch of gnarly old Shiraz and successfully revived it, crafting the first Freedom 1843 Shiraz in 1997. In 2011 Richard and Shirley Lindner purchased Langmeil outright, and continue to run it with their sons, Paul the Chief Winemaker and James in charge of Sales and Marketing. Langmeil are famous for their Old Garden Vineyards and, apart from their iconic Freedom Vineyard, they also own the Orphan Bank Shiraz Vineyard, originally planted pre-1860 in the village of Tanuda. But in 2002 they were in danger of being destroyed by developer's bulldozers. 320 vines were transported one by one to a site of Langmeil's on the south bank of the North Para River, with a 92% success rate; this was the first time anything like this had been done in the Barossa. Then there are the Jackman's Cabernet Sauvignon Vineyard planted in 1964, The Fifth Wave Grenache Vineyard planted in 1973 in Lyndock in the southern reaches of the Barossa Valley and The Pure Eden Shiraz, Wattle Brae Riesling and High Road Chardonnay Vineyards in the Eden Valley, which has some centenarian-plus vines believed to have been planted in the 1890's by Charles Angus. Additionally Langmeil source fruit from long-term growers in the Barossa to supplement their own fruit. Langmeil draw on both old and new world techniques to craft their wines. Taking a minimal approach, for their Old Garden and Village wines the fruit is hand-picked and they use open fermenters and basket presses. They do not fine their wines and use minimal filtration. Langmeil's winemaking skills are now internationally recognised and they are regarded as one of the Barossa's premium wine producers. Langmeil are quite simply unique – when you drink one of their superb wines, you drink a glass of history!

www.langmeilwinery.com.au/