My Days of Wine

1926 Vintage Crush - 13,602 Tons

Looking east towards Berri with No.1 Ferment Cellar on the left, No.3 Ferment Cellar and two boiler stacks centre, original Still House in front of the extension and Sugarloaf Wine Chargers shown bottom right. This photo also indicates that the Block 1 group of 20,000 gallon tanks was perhaps still being constructed. In the centre of the photo behind the boiler stacks and trees you can see the intersection of the now Sturt Highway, Winkie road to the right and Battams road to the left. The two tanks on top of what was called the Wax room at bottom left may have been cooling water storage circulating tanks or merely water storage.


March 12th 1926

Annual Meeting of shareholders The annual general meeting of the Berri Growers' Cooperative Distillery Coy., Ltd., was held at the old school building, Glossop, on February 25th 1926. There were present 235 shareholders. The chairman (Mr. J.C. Cheriton) reported that during the year the number of shareholders had increased from 232 to 399, 228 of which being fully paid up, 111 in their second year, and 60 in their first year. It is anticipated that quite a number of additional members would be forthcoming before the 1927 vintage operations commenced. During the past three years 19,481 tons were treated, 3,562 tons in 1923, 6,823 in and 9,095 in 1925, and during the 1926 vintage the distillery anticipates handling between 13 and 14,000 tons. Further extensions were carried out during the year in order to handle satisfactorily the large tonnages to be treated. The work recently completed comprised the duplication of the present winery, containing two crushers, four presses, one 42 h. p. crude oil engine (with shafting, pulleys and belting), also sixty 2,000 gallon fermenting and six 5,000 gallon underground racking tanks, and one 42 h. p. crude oil engine in the old building, water tower (50,000 gallons), forty and ten 5,000 and 20,000 gallon storage tanks respectively, new bond store, chimney stack, boiler and Excise Officer's house. The chairman said that the wine industry today appeared to be a sound proposition in view of the fact that Australia, as a result of the granting of the bounty and increased Imperial Preference has entered into the sweet wine trade in Great Britain, and the consumption of wine and the trend of popular taste there has become of special interest. The balance sheet, profit ad loss account, and 1924 vintage account were submitted and adopted. Already £4 per ton has been paid in progress payments to shareholders on their 1924 vintage and that amount available yet for distribution over this vintage is £6,651/18/3. Through effluxion of time Messrs Norman Dyer, L. H. Maddern and A. J. Strang were due for retirement and offered themselves for re-election. Three new members were nominated, Messrs J. B. Anderson, W. H. Lister and A. C. Ingerson. Messrs Norman Dyer, J. B. Anderson and W. H. Lister were elected. A vote of thanks, on the motion of Mr. Dalziel was accorded Messrs Maddern and Strang for their past service and expressed regret on their retirement. Messrs Maddern and Strang replied.


May 18th 1926

376 tons. A record. 11,319 tons to date and approx. 3,000 to come.

Berri May 25th Closed for a week


October 29th 1926

Evidence from Berri- Concerning the continuance of the Bounty. Mr. J.C. Cheriton, Chairman of the Berri Growers Cooperative Distillery, said he wished to support the evidence given by Mr. Evans and submitted the following statement respecting the operations of the distillery.


Duty Paid on Fortifying Spirit for Sweet Wine

Vintage Australian Pounds
1924 5,252
1925 6,712
1926 16,417
Estimated 1927 25,000


Areas Planted, Berri & Barmera to 1925

Variety Acres
Gordo 1475
Doradillo 1479
Malaga 137
Other Wine Varieties 104


Tonnages of Grapes Treated

Vintage Gordo Blanco Doradillo ZanteCurrant Other Varieties Total
1924 999 5,812   12 6,823
1925 2,382 6,683   30 9,095
1926 4,216 7,639 1,193 546 13,602
Estimated for 1927 5,000 8,200 1,400 220 17,000

Production of Spirit

Vintage Gallons of wine Proof Gallons
1926 2,426,129 400,000
Estimated 1927 2,720,000 545,000

1924-6283 tons 6cwt 2qrs paid to growers £4 a ton and a further £6651 to be distributed; total £24,525/1/10.


1925-9095 tons 14cwt; Gordo's and Doradillo's £5, other varieties £8, and a further sum to be distributed. £4,082/6/4.


1926-13601 tons 6cwt 2qrs; £4 to date. £54,406/6/-


During the meeting Mr. Cheriton refuted the claims the company had been price cutting and stated that Berri was the only district to pay back any of the subsidy of 10/- per ton granted by the Federal Government for the 1924 season to bring payments for Doradillo grapes up to £1/10/- a ton. Mr. Rump, the general manger supported Mr. Cheriton's report to the Board and sincerely hoped the bounty would be continued.

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