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All podcast music: “Café connection” by morgantj / CC BY 3.0, ©2009 – Licensed under Creative Commons 
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Apr 18, 2022

In this show, we finally define OLD VINES with James Lindner and Leigh Woodrow of Langmeil Vineyards! The background, the history, the viticulture, and the first major definition in form of the Barossa Old Vine Charter are all covered. If you ever wondered what "old vines" really means, we have answers! 

Langmeil Vineyards has a long and storied history. In 1843, Christian Auricht planted a mixed farm in the heart of the Barossa Valley in Australia. In 1932 Theodor Hanisch, Christian’s grandson established the first winery on the property and after a period of disrepair, in 1996, three men, who had strong roots in the Barossa - Richard Lindner, Carl Lindner and Chris Bitter - rejuvenated the vineyard and winery.

Photo: Langmeil The Freedom 1843 Vineyard, Shiraz


Today that same vineyard from 1843, The Freedom Vineyard, is still producing grapes for wine and Langmeil, although it makes other lovely wines from normal aged vines, has developed a specialty for caring for and making wine from old vine vineyards. Vineyards include the 70-year-old Orphan Block Vineyard These old vines wines are really something spectacular, and like nothing else you can taste.

Photo: James Lindner, co-owner, chief storyteller for Langmeil

In this show, I’m joined by James Lindner, sixth generation Barossan, and son of Richard Lindner, runs the family estate with his parents and brother, while overseeing its sales and distribution both domestically and around the world.  He tells us the story of how these old vines got here and the current state of old vines in Barossa.

Photo: Leigh Woodrow, Sales Manager for Langmeil, loyal listener and friend of the pod

Leigh Woodrow, long time podcast listener, WFNP supporter, Patron, and just all around smart and cool guy is the global and national sales manager for Langmeil and he adds color to the story of Langmeil, and its old vines. A Brit who has lived in Australian now for decades and has much experience in the wine industry, Leigh is humble, kind, funny, and such a great contributor to the Patron community so we need to give a big shout to one of our tribe for bringing this great show and topic to us (Patrons, we may get a bonus on a virtual video tour of the old vines, so stay tuned for that!).


The wines are available in the US and they are spectacular. And I learned a lot from this show about what LEGITIMATE old vines are versus what people may tell us they are.


I hope you enjoy the show as much as I did! And hi to Bette in the Cellar door at Langmeil!


Here are some of the topics we discussed:


  1. We learn about Barossa’s wine history, the history of the Australian wine industry, and how Langmeil’s old vines survived

Map: Barossa Australia

  1. We discuss the life cycle of a grapevine and how long they can live, along with what happens to vines as they age and how the wines they make taste. We discuss what grape varieties age well and what don’t and the conditions that make good vines


  1. James and Leigh talk about Langmeil’s Shiraz vineyard, the oldest Shiraz vineyard in the world – the Freedom 1843 vineyard. We discuss how farming and stewardship of it is different from younger vines.


  1. James talks about a massive project Langmeil undertook to transplant old vines in its Orphan Bank Shiraz Vineyard and how the community pulled together to help make it happen. Although this isn’t an ideal situation, it did help save a 70+ year old vineyard. We mention the old vine properties Langmeil has in Eden Valley, a part of Barossa, as well.


  1. James and Leigh describe the Old Vine Charter, why Barossa decided to create the Charter, and the definitions of Old Vines (35-plus years old), Survivor Vines (70-plus years old), Centenarian Vines (100-plus years old) and Ancestor Vines (125-plus years old). We discuss other regions in the world who are looking to Barossa as a model to put more definition around the term “Old Vines”

Photo from Cirillo Wine Estates, the oldest Grenache vineyard 

  1. We end with a good discussion of sustainability; how old vines are very sustainable for the environment and how investments in the community and the future of wine in Barossa mean that these old vines will have guardians for many generations to come.


A great show with terrific guests! And we finally get some definition around a very squishy term. Thanks to James and Leigh for sharing the Langmeil story!



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