My Days of Wine

1934 Vintage Crush

Thursday April 12th 1934, page 239. Refer to Reports/Spreadsheet Section, Ellis Report April 34

Year Crammed Full of Incident

Mr. W. N. Ellis, Chairman of the Board of Directors delivered a report which encompassed the start in 1922 to November 30th 1933.

During the Year Mr. Lister resigned as a board member and this was accepted and Mr. Lister was thanked for his service. Mr. A. H. Kelly was appointed by the board to fill the vacancy, and has proved a valuable member.

Highlights included the appointment of Messrs. McLaughlin and Co. Ltd., the leading firm of wine and spirit merchants in New South Wales were appointed New South Wales retail distributors of our products which have led to increased sales.

In South Australia Messrs C. F. Cleland and Sons Ltd., have been appointed retail distributors for the state and Mr. H. Luff, wine and spirit broker, has consented to exclusively handle our fortifying spirit amongst the winemakers.

Large maturation casks totaling 50,000 gallons have been installed in a section of the spirit store and 25,000 gallons of small wood will be added to hasten brandy maturation. This would have been a mix of hogsheads and quarter casks.

In the main winery progress has been made in establishing support timbers for approximately 2,000 hogsheads (130,000 gallons) in the overhead space above the 5,000 gallon tanks.

Words of commendation to Mr. Garnett for his input towards sales and his tremendous energy and enthusiasm. The Board has been ably supported by the secretary, Mr. L. E. Nairn and his staff.

A continued effort was made by the board to establish regular payments to shareholders as and when money became available.

A momentous year full of incidents, decisions, appointments and a name change to Berri Cooperative Winery and Distillery Limited was registered with the Land Titles Office on 1st June 1934.

Known as the "Barrel Walk" and held approximately 50 hogsheads. I remember when I started in 1951 it was quite a rickety structure and was replaced by a large concrete platform on the east end of Block 7 tanks in the early 1960's after I had rejoined the Company, which provided a large storage area for some 200 hogsheads and relieved space on the main filling floor.

I am making a guess here, but have put the time about 1934 given the size of the small Pinus Radiata pines. I am not sure whether the vehicle is the Thorneycroft truck with the solid rubber tires or the Ford with pneumatic tires. Over the Sturt highway you can see the enclosed rail trucks. From the AGM minutes a new manufacturing warehouse completed in 1933. This was the roof connecting Block 3 and Block 5 and a concrete floor was laid, with the "Freestore" at the rear of the building was created and from here the sale of wines continued until the late 1950's .

The Manager's house meanwhile had been relocated to the Battams road site prior to roofing between Block 3 and Block 5 .

Last year the vines were frosted with subsequent great loss.

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