Warm climate/Elevation 240-350m
The Grampians is located in western Central Victoria and settled during the gold rush of the 1850s. Indeed Seppelt at Great Western was built at the end of the gold rush when scores of out-of-work prospectors excavated its extensive drives and cellars. The Grampians embraces the viticultural centres of Great Western and Ararat at elevations of 240 to 350m. The region, while essentially cool, experiences long sunshine hours and low rainfall. Supplementary irrigation is needed. The best vineyard sites are located on protected, but north-east facing, slopes. Strong continentality means that spring frosts can be particularly severe. Birds can also be a problem with some vineyards using protective netting. The soils in the Grampians range from weathered volcanic soils to sandy and red clay loams interspersed with ironstone. The region is particularly suited to Shiraz and, to a lesser extent, Cabernet Sauvignon. Some excellent Chardonnays are also being produced.
In a good vintage the Grampians area, as typified by Mount Langi Ghiran and Seppelt Great Western, can produce some of the best Shirazes in the country. These are quintessential Australian cool-climate Shirazes with intense, pepper/spice aromas, fine tannins, concentration and lovely fruit purity. The wines develop a complex matrix of aromas, the best showing an earthy, gamey, peppery bouquet and beautifully rich and textured palates. These are profoundly important wines, an outstanding foil to the richer and opulent Shirazes of McLaren Vale and the Barossa.
Andrew Caillard MW, Langton's