Pronounced "Mount Langee Jeeran", the name is Aboriginal for "Home of the Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo". The initial vineyards were planted by the Fratin brothers in 1963, on the site of a vineyard that had been in operation at the turn of the century. Their first plantings were Shiraz, and initially, the grapes were sold to neighbouring winemakers. The exceptionally high quality of their fruit quickly drew a strong following and encouraged the Fratins to begin making their own wine.
In 1979, Trevor Mast was appointed consultant winemaker. Inspired by the potential of the vineyard and keen to develop it further, he purchased the property in 1987. Two partnerships followed, until in late 2002 the property was purchased by the Rathbone family, also proprietors of Yering Station winery in the Yarra Valley. Trevor Mast remains winemaker at Mount Langi Ghiran, where he utilises traditional non-interventionist winemaking methods.
State-of-the-art winery technology and fastidious vineyard management enable Mount Langi Ghiran to consistently produce wines of the highest quality. The hallmarks of the elegant and supple Mount Langi Ghiran Shiraz are sweet dark fruit, spice and liquorice, accompanied by the unmistakable aromas of cracked pepper. Each vintage, the vineyard and winemaking teams seek to capture the cool climate characters of pepper and spice, while attaining rich, ripe fruit flavours.
The vineyards are situated at the base of the 540 metre cliff face of Mount Langi Ghiran. Directly opposite, approximately three kilometres away is the equally majestic Mount Cole and adjoining state forest. The two mountains create a cooling effect as cold air tumbles down the mountains and flows through the valley at night. During Autumn, the mountain shadows the vineyard before day's end shortening the effective sunshine hours, and thereby extending the growing season.
Derived from ancient Ordovician red clays rich in ironstone, the soils at Langi vary somewhat within the Shiraz block which contributes to the complexity of the wine. The topsoil comprises granitic sands and silts eroded over the years from the Mount. Red clay loams are well known to Australian viticulturists, they provide excellent drainage and impart desirable characteristics for red wine production, such soils occur in the Barossa, Coonawarra, Pyrenees and Grampians regions.
The Shiraz vines at Mount Langi Ghiran, which range up to 40 years in age, are particularly suited to these conditions. It is during the long ripening period that the signature intense spicy, pepper flavours develop, and the excellent sugar-acid structure is preserved. The soil profile enhances the control of the vine's water requirements allowing the vines to naturally stress at critical periods of growth which further concentrates fruit flavour.
The vineyard is cane pruned with the arch cane system. This system promotes a more even budburst and an open canopy with fruit spaced evenly throughout. The canopy is vertically shoot positioned to increase fruit and leaf exposure and reduce shading within the canopy.
The extended growing season means that the Langi property is one of the latest blocks to be harvested in Victoria. Nearby Great Western is picked earlier as it is less elevated than Langi and lacks the cooling effects of surrounding mountains, and the neighbouring Pyrenees vineyards situated north of the 'Divide' are also picked earlier.