1949 Vintage Crush 17,935 tons
Following the 1949 Vintage the following improvements were made:-
Still House perimeter was bricked up to the 19 foot level. Prior to this the building was a timber frame and iron clad structure and white ant damage had occurred and various sections had been shored up.
New Cooperage and a Cask Store.
A new Excise Office, a new A.P.V. Plate Heat Exchanger ( Pastueriser), a 20 Ton Budge Ammonia Compressor and a 6,000 gallon Brine Tank. No. 1 Ferment Cellar was re roofed with asbestos sheeting and some improvements were made to the Grape Crushers.
Following the decision after the 1947 vintage Alec Kelly was in charge of the alterations to upgrade and change the marc disposal in Cellars 1, 2 and 3. Concrete, plastered drains that were wax coated were built and one of the underground tanks at each end of No.1 Cellar were converted into common sumps feeding to open impellor centrifugal pumps as was done with No. 2 Cellar for the 1948 vintage. No. 3 Cellar had a small sump and serviced by a Pomona centrifugal pump. I have to research where we could pump material from these cellars.
The above had been done to allow the options of pumping grape juice and/or fermenting wine to Blocks 3,4,5,6 and 7 and distillation material to Block 1 and also to sludge the drained marc to the Tarac premises.
This year saw the erection of the Reception Room which had two offices, one for the Fred Cocks, the Chairman of the Board and the other for Norm Morrison, the Grape liaison officer during vintage. Also included were male and female toilets. To the rear of the reception room a new technical building with a laboratory and two offices was built. One office was for Alec Kelly and the other for Howard Penrhyn. Noel Burge had his desk in the laboratory.
Approval was given for BCWD and Tarac to divert effluent to the Puddletown Outfall in 1949. I believe this was necessary to relieve the pressure on the "Lily" pond storage which had to cater for both the Winery and the Tarac facility.
No. 2 Cellar, Roof repairs in 1949. This Cellar was built in 1927 and had corrosion damage from the sulphuric acid fallout from the boiler stacks.
Bob Schell started.
The recently installed system of sludging the partially fermented skins and seeds was successful. Servicing Ferment Cellars 1, 2 and 3, this arrangement was still in place when I left in 1973.
Tarac had processed stalks from 1938 and a decision was made by Tarac after the 1949 vintage not to process these in the future. When I started in 1951 the stalks were discharged at the east end of the No.1 Ferment Cellar onto a draining screen and an elevator to a Ford truck. When full the vehicle would be driven across the highway up Battams Road to Block 330 north of the ridge homes. On his return, the stalk man would then have to load the pile of stalks that built up on the concrete floor during his absence. What a pain in the proverbial.
The formation of the Loxton Cooperative Winery and Distillery Ltd followed the development of the World War 2 Returned Soldiers Settlement at Loxton SA. I felt it was appropriate to include the details of the formation and the people that kick started the new enterprise.
The registration of Company took place on October 26th 1949.
The Inaugural Committee was as follows :- F. J. Cocks, Chairman, Berri Cooperative Winery and Distillery Ltd, F. G. H. Garrett - Berri Cooperative Winery and Distillery Ltd, J. H. Brown, Berri Cooperative Winery and Distillery Ltd, A. P. Wishart, Renmark Growers Distillery Ltd, V. R. Kemp, Renmark Growers Distillery Ltd, H. H. Stone, Berri Cooperative Packing Union Ltd, C. G. Tunbridge, Loxton North Returned Soldier Grower Representative, W. J. Mawby, Secretary
As you can see there was a strong commitment by the two existing cooperative wineries and the Berri Cooperative Packing Union to get the Loxton operation up and running. Apart from Cyril Tunbridge, the committee members had all seen good and bad times, and they would have made the necessary decisions to establish guidelines to provide a sound start for the Company. It has been a disappointment that I have been unable to find the first minute book of the Loxton Cooperative Winery and Distillery Ltd, since it may have revealed some of the Committees' decisions in the early stages.
From Noel Burge I believe the new laboratory was built this year.
In December Estelle Nielsen, Miss Monash, raised £116/2/10