My Days of Wine

1953 Vintage Crush 13,151 tons

Allocation was 4,411 tons to Wine and 8,740 tons to spirit, 33.54%

Lean-to built over Crusher Pit area at No. 2 Cellar. This gave protection against sun and rain for the operator and also provided lock up storage for the Cement Gang's equipment.


Below is the chemical formula for ethyl acetate


Ethyl Alcohol + Acetic Acid = Ethyl Acetate + Water


This year was to be a resurgence of the William's family presence at the Roseworthy Agricultrural College.

My Grandfather, John Llewellyn "Jack" Williams was Blacksmith and Mechanical Instructor during 1897 to 1918. His eldest son John Llewellyn "Jock" Williams was a graduate of the Agricultural Course, then a cadet officer after a period with G. Gramp and Sons at Rowland Flat, S.A. and then was the instigator of the Diploma of Oenology course which commenced in 1936. I have to check with Robert Williams when Jock left to join Wynn's. Brian Barry said Rex Kuchel was in charge in 1946.

The course commenced in May 1953 and my fellow students in alphabetical order were Harry Davoren, Dick Morris, Harry Tulloch and John Vickery. Messrs Tulloch and Vickery were diplomates from the Agricultural course. Richard Morris had completed 2 years of Agriculture and along with Harry Davoren and myself who had qualified with 2 years in the wine industry. Harry had done his two years with Penfold's Wines at Griffith. Harry's father was the manager of Penfold's at the time. His Uncle John Davoren was Manager at Penfold's Auldana Winery.

Our lecturers were Rex Kuchel (Winemaking), Sam Twartz (Science), Graeme Chappell (Microbiology), Milton Spurling (Viticulture), and Ken Leske (Economics). Rex Brady was Laboratory Technician and Tom Carter was Winery Foreman.

Second year Oenology students were Bill Chambers, Jim Jenkins and Karl Seppelt.


Trips 1953-54

Numerous visits to wine and brewing companies were made during these two years. I'm not sure of order but here goes:

Coopers Brewery, Leabrook SA,

West End Brewery, Hindley St, Milton Cousins

Penfolds Tanunda, Bill Seppelt

Penfolds Nuriootpa, Ray Beckwith

Tarac Nuriootpa, Poppa Allen and Max Hackett

Seppelts Seppeltsfield, Mel Bell


Interstate Trip 1953

(I am not sure of route and total companies)

Redmans Coonawarra, Bill Redman

Wynns Coonawarra

Bests Great Western

Seppelts Great Western, Colin Preece

Seppelts Rutherglen, “Woody” Woodroffe

All Saints Rutherglen, George Sutherland Smith Snr

Baileys Bundarra, Alan Bailey

Morris Mia Mia, Mick Morris

Chambers Rutherglen, Mrs. Chambers and Bill

Lindemans Corowa, Ron Prince

Chateau Tahbilk, Eric Purbrick

Mildara Winery, Merbien, Les Ekert

Renmark Cooperative Winery and Distillery, Renmark, Karl Weidenhoffer

Berri Cooperative Winery and Distillery, Glossop SA, Doug Collett and Brian Barry

Hardy’s Cyrilton Winery Waikerie, Jack Nielsen

Angoves Wines, Renmark, Tom Angove

I recollect leaving Rutherglen, heading south and we lunched at Wangaratta and then, I think, to Chateau Tahbilk. From there to Great Western to visit B. Seppelt & Sons and Best’s.

Great Western Cellars always conjures up the descent to the "champagne runs" below.


*** Photo's of the trip and of my time at Roseworthy can be seen in my Gallery HERE ***


From Student Magazine-Our Trip

Left RAC on 19th July 1953 and traveled to Naracoorte to sleep overnight.

Departed on Monday morning for Coonawarra. Visited Rouge Homme Cellars and met Bill Redman. Tin shed and small open fermenters about a metre deep and to hold 2 tons of grapes. Horwood-Bagshaw wooden crusher. I guess we will always remember the atmosphere and the scale of things.

Onto Ararat that night and to Great Western Cellars for the day. That was a real experience and we were given the history of the tunels etc. A Mr. and Mrs. Richardson entertained us that night.

On Wednesday we went to Geelong and visited Coles Emporium and to Corio to learn about their distillation procedures and then to Melbourne.
Visited Seppelt's Bottling and Vinegar Plant and Cellars on Thursday afternoon.

RHK and two prodigals stayed at the Federal Hotel. The rest with family and/or friends.

On Friday we inspected Wynn's despatch cellar and David Wynn entertained us at Florentino's for lunch. I believe Samuel Wynn started the restaurant and then sold it. "Have to check that out".

Also saw vinegar and compressed plant at Nycander.

RHK and two prodigals went to the "Folies Bergere" on Saturday Night.

From Melbourne to Tahbilk Winery and then to Rutherglen.

A busy time here and we visited 14 establishments and the wines were a real education. I will always remember the sherries at "All Saints" and George Smith Senior said he fortified his sherries with a concentration of alcohol (between 35-40% proof) and he had no problems with micribiological infection.

Dinner at Corowa at the ? Hotel on Wednesday night. There was a story of previous visits when George Smith wrestled with the oenology students. We asked this night and he declined after we introduced the subject. We all felt unworthy. I tried to inject some interest late in the evening and to Ron Prince's surprise I borrowed a pair of scissors from the barmaid and severed his tie below the knot and we all had a drink to that.

Thursday to Narrandera for lunch and on to Griffith to visit Penfolds on Thursday and were shown two ranges of Hunter river wines. Next was two McWilliam's cellars, both of compact design and looked to be very efficient.

To Echuca on Sunday and visited Dick and Val Buller at their Beverford Cellars and we were treated to their hospitality afterwards.
Then on the road again to Mildura.

Monday morning at Mildara and Merbein and Irymple cellars (Flor sherry culture) and then to Renmano Cellars on Tuesday morning to view their refrigeration and centrifuge equipment and then to Angoves in the afternoon.

Wednesday was Loxto Coop, then Berri to look at the Blair Still. Pictures at the Rivoli theatre that night.

Thursday 6th August, To Tooravale, then to Berri for a overall tour, then to Hardy's Cyrilton Cellars at Waikerie and then late back to the College. Quite an experience. From memory, Harry Tulloch did not make the trip.


The 4 Berries

In 1953 the band made their first public appearance at the Berri Oval as a part of the evening's entertainment which was presented by George Greg and the Troubadours and this event along with many others during the summer period was arranged by the Berri War Memorial Community Centre.

The band was an instant hit and played at many functions throughout the Riverland for a number of years.

Members were:
Peter Nairn on the piano
Peter Eitzen on the the clarinet and before then the trumpet
(Peter was buried with his original trumpet-Bob Curren was source)
Johnny Miller on the drums
Ross Mader on the saxaphone


1954 Vintage Crush 9325 tons

Allocation was 3493 tons to Wine and 5832 tons to Spirit. Ratio 59.89%

Average Baume 13.13°

Jack Grgic was engaged as the electrician in charge.


1955 Vintage Crush 9986 tons

Allocation was 2546 tons to Wine and 7440 tons to Spirit. Ratio 25.5%

Average Baume 13.08°


1956 Vintage Crush 11035 tons

Allocation was 2929 tons to Wine and 8106 tons to Spirit. Ratio 26.54%

Average Baume 12.47°

Doug. and Mary Collett who had been living in the Battams Road house since mid-1950, purchased a property at Gurra-Gurra across the Murray from the Berri township.

It was flood Year.

Butt Reece started in workshop.

Trevor Becker started as an apprentice electrician.

Bob Rowe started as a cellar hand.

Plant additions this year included two further Chillers, extension of lean-to section roofing to cover the underground tanks built to the north of underground tanks 804- 812. More maturation wood was purchased for Brandy and Sherry production. A 150 Horsepower Oil Fired Cleaverbrook boiler was ordered to replace the Babcock and Wilcox boiler that was purchase second-hand in 1927. Steel and pipe storage racks were installed for brandy quarter casks in the Bond Store.

Mr. J. J. Hatch died having spent 13.5 years as a Board Member.

Mr. F. J. Cocks resigned after 19 years as a board Member with 10.5 years as Chairman.

<< Start < Prev 21 22 23 24 25 Next > End >>

Page 21 of 29