My Days of Wine

1944 Vintage Crush 10,455 tons

Insofar as it is humanly possible to foresee, our future seems assured for quite a number of years-in fact we, today, are experiencing a certain amount of apprehension as to our ability to meet immediate post-war demands both for Commonwealth and overseas consumption. We believe that reasonable and well-directed plantings of better quality wine grapes will find an insured market for some years to come and base our belief on the position as we foresee it supported by the facts disclosed by Commonwealth statistics showing that Australia's consumption has practically doubled since pre-war days and that, undoubtedly, Great Britain and other parts of the Empire will be calling for considerable supplies of Australian Wines in the immediate post-war period. These outstanding facts cause us to look forward to the future with ever-growing confidence.


In June two coal trials were arranged by Mr. Garnett and Premier Playford.

In the first the Babcock & Wilcox water tube boiler was fed a mixture 50% Leigh Creek and 50 % Newcastle coal. The second was a mix of 662/3 Leigh Creek and 331/3 Newcastle coal. Both trials gave a satisfactory result.

AW Kelly discharged from the Army and returned BCWD


1945 Vintage Crush 5,082 tons

The record low intake and today we can only imagine the dilemma of the shareholders.


1946 Vintage Crush 13,748 tons

On May John Gregory was asphyxiated throwing out skins on a Sunday morning in No. 1 Ferment Cellar. Chris Madson, Excise Officer, gave artificial respiration until Dr. D. T. Hayes arrived who continued the respiration, tried both oxygen and a stimulant injection with no result.


1947 Vintage Crush 16,636 tons

Electricity Trust of South Australia established temporary power stations at Berri and Loveday.

Due to February rains quantities on Sultana's and Currant's were processed on the shareholder's behalf.

In April W. S. Garnett resigned and Mr. L. N. Nairn was appointed as General Manager, Mr. A. W. Kelly appointed as Assistant Manager and Mr. N. Burge became Winemaker/ Chemist.


The Minutes after 1947 Vintage

No's. 1, 2 and 3 Ferment Cellar upgrades with sumps, tank doors and tank drain valves were approved. Installation of the drain system was trialed in No. 2 Ferment Cellar and after the 1948 vintage it was realised that shallower drains would be practical for No. 1 and No. 3 Ferment Cellars. No.2 Cellar had originally four 6,000 gallon underground tanks at the west end and the second tank in from the roadside had the roof removed and an intermediate wall was built to provide a sump on one side and a pit to house the open impeller centrifugal pump and motor on the other side.


1947 Expansion-Button

Joe Brown made the point about expansion of the facilities in his story and the rest follows.


In April 1947 the Board decided to appoint Lyle Nairn to the position of General Manager/Secretary, replacing Warrington Garnett, and Alec Kelly became Assistant Manager. Noel Burge recalled it was quite a conservative battle for the top job.

Howard Penrhyn was appointed to the staff as a payroll clerk.

Photo of Estelle Law (Nielsen) standing Karoom platform. Estelle started in 1946.

Left are the Roadside Tanks H.M.C. 101 to 112 and the Main office with weighbridge just the right of the pine tree trunk. On the right of the office building is the weather station which records temperature and humidity readings. I assume the results of daily temperatures and humidity were used to help the shareholders with their harvest program.

Photgraph Courtesy of Estelle Law.


Rosemary Nicolson started Office duties in 1947 and thought the Reception Room had just been completed.


1948 Vintage Crush 19,824 tons

A lack of space problem was being experienced for the storage of spent marc so a decision was made to purchase Block 330 which adjoined the northern boundary of Block 253. The transfer from Mr. William Durrock Campbell took place on the 29th January 1948.

During the off season this material would then used by shareholders as a form of humus for their plantings. At this time Reg Higgs was doing most of the carting with his front end loader and large trucks.

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