Langmeil’s Orphan Bank Shiraz is a wine with an amazing story behind it. Planted circa 1860, these Shiraz vines were to be torn up to make way for housing back in 2006. Fortunately, Langmeil caught wind of what was going to happen and offered to remove the vines free of charge. What may have seemed like a great deal for the developer turned out to be a masterstroke for Langmeil. They now had their hands on some of the world’s oldest Shiraz vines – the next step was digging them up and finding them a new home.
These orphans share a common ancestry with the Freedom vineyard, which Langmeil believe to be home of the world’s oldest surviving Shiraz vines, planted in 1843. The Freedom vines and the orphan vines had originally been planted in the same allotment: section 36, Hundred of Moorooroo.
When Christian Auricht died in 1860 the ‘family’ of Shiraz vineyard was split up. Now, with the assistance of Langmeil’s team of adoptive parents, the winery has been able to reunite the flock and bring them home. After a painstaking operation, each vine was dug up and replanted one by one, with a 95% success rate.
In August 2006 and again in June 2007 the vines were moved to a fertile patch of land on the banks of North Para River, now known as the Orphan Bank. This new site is adjacent to the Freedom vineyard. In the above video, James Lindner shows just how well the orphans have adapted to their new home. And oh boy, what a wine.