My Days of Wine

1937 Vintage Crush 9,643 tons.

The first section of the district electricity scheme commenced in March and power was supplied by the Renmark Irrigation Trust to transformers at the top of Vaughan Terrace. I have not established whether the winery had a connector at this time..


Tarac Operation

Berri had kept negotiations open and in 1937 the Directors of Tarac Nuriootpa, decided to erect a plant at Berri. Norm Mader, who had joined the Tarac company in 1931, and was then a distiller at Nuriootpa, was appointed manager and moved to Berri in September 1937 to oversee the erection of the new facility which was ready for the 1938 vintage. Of note is that during the 1938 vintage the Tarac Company employed some forty vintage personnel and the Tarac Nuriootpa Company Chemist, Mr. M. A. Cousins spent the entire vintage at Berri, to oversee the laboratory and fermentation procedures.

Business during the year has been maintained at a satisfactory level both overseas and within the Commonwealth despite the fact that price fluctuations in Great Britain have had a disturbing effect upon British buyers to say nothing of the ever growing competition for the English market by the so-called British wines, a cheap synthetic product.

Further considerable mechanisation and improvements have been effected to the plant due largely to the necessity of we accommodating ourselves to the Tarac Company's process with which company we have completed a working agreement and which will undoubtedly allow us not only to obtain more and a better extraction from waste material but also to effect considerable economies in vintage working costs.

Below is a staff photo taken, taken I believe, sometime in 1937. Alby Brand is bottom left and he resigned in late 1937. This photo surfaced from under the telephonist's desk at Berri Estates in 2002. Bill Wilden arranged for the photo to be restored and emailed me a copy.

From Top Left - George Smythe, Bond Store; Herman Wierenga; X ; Bill Lawson; Charlie Schultz or Able Bartsch; Tony Davies; X ;Jack Sharp; Jim Friels, Cooper; Vic Brand, Navy, Police Force; X ; X ; Bob Grem From Bottom Left - Alby Brand; Heggie Wilksch, Concrete Gang; Jack Webber, Harris? lived near Church of Christ ; Ron Porter ; Bert Berriman ; Wally Manifold; X ; Bill Whyte.

From Top Left - Jack Mutton; Harry Boyd; Bill Quinton, Distiller; X ; Roy McGregor, Freestore; Ray Harrip; Phil Knappstein; Bob Wyatt From

Bottom Left - X ; Harry Foreman; Tom Kennedy.

To help with identities the Berri Library kindly displayed photo and recorded comments and sincere thanks for their service.

Alex Lawson was able to provide a lot of names and at this stage (Dec 2004) there are six unknown faces.

There is doubt between Alex Lawson and Noel Burge regards No. 5 in top row of the left hand photo. Alex Lawson thought is Able Bartsch and Noel Burge said it could be Charlie Schultz.


A. E. "Pop" Wiltshire retired June 1937 after 23 years in charge of the Berri Pumping Station.

The Berri Community Hotel opened on June 26th.

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