My Days of Wine

1960 Vintage Crush 16,082 tons

Allocation was 4,891 to Wine and 11,192 tons to Spirit. Ratio 30.41%

Average Baume 12.7°

View of the Crusher Pit and grapes are being forked into No.6 Crusher Bin. On the extreme right is the Stalk Elevator and bottom to right of centre is the drive for the screw in Bin 6. On the left of the photo is a White Engineering Ammonia condenser. There appears to be a marc trailer behind a corrugated iron tank and in front is the frame carrying the polythene must line to the top of the No.4 cellar building. The smaller diameter tube is a 2 inch diameter water supply line to the crusher pit. On extreme left is myself.

I must comment on the galvanised tank on the tractor owner's trailer. This may have been built by W. E. Campbell and Sons just down the road from the winery. Prior to the vintage start the inner surface of the tank would have been wax coated at the winery, some 2-3 weeks before vintage commenced . Unfortunately I cannot identify the other two persons. The person on the ground appears to be wearing a four corner knotted handkerchief on his head. There should be a clue right there!!

Complete analysis of all table wines had to be done after the vintage. Was a huge job. Took me four weeks to complete.

All of a sudden we had a problem with many of the table wines exhibiting hydrogen sulphide that had previously been countered by the contact with copper. So we had to put the thinking caps on and realised we would have to remove the yeast from the wines ASAP. This was done and the endemic hydrogen sulphide odour disappeared from Block 3 (per Ian McKenzie).

I believe it was after the 1960 vintage that John Fornachon and Bryce Rankine visited us and I was having problems determining free sulphur dioxide levels in dry red table wines. In latter years I believe it was found that the sulphur dioxide molecule attached to the anthocyanins. This was different to white wines where the a percentage of the sulphur dioxide was attached to the sugar molecule and became bound and would not perform as free SO2.

DHC had won a scholarship to study in France at Montpellier.

I have the idea that Bert Solly had been searching for steel formwork, for both general use and cylindrical concrete tank construction. This was either purchased in the latter part of 1960 or mid 1961.

Herman Wierenga passed away on 15th December 1960

Butt Reece appointed Workshop Foreman


1961 Vintage Crush 19,906 tons

Allocation was 6,093 tons to Wine and 13,813 tons to Spirit. Ratio 30.61%

Average Baume 12.2°


Minutes of 1st March 1961

Approved purchase of Westphalia SAM Centrifuge for £8,238 delivered and commissioned subject to final bentonite tests. As well as this DHC realized there was a possibility to use the Gordo grape to produce a "moselle" style table wine with residual sugar. To this end a Westphalia SAM centrifuge was installed. Ron Morrow was the then manager of Bell Bryant Pty Ltd in Adelaide and was in charge of the installation and commissioning.

Brian Barry to vacate Battams Road house by 31st May 1961.

Penrhyn's to move in. They were there until Pen retired.


Minutes of September 1961

Approved new plant and tanks for No. 4 Cellar and to extend the roof over the new area. Tanks were 10,000 gallon capacity and one tank was built at ground level and then soil below excavated. Was a prodigious tasks and we then built 3 rows of 4 tanks running north south above ground.

Two new crushers were approved to function for the 1962 vintage.

Steve Horvat commenced on 13th November 1961. Retired 27th December 1996.


Minutes 7th December 1961

Approved 4 new Marc trailers at £250 each and marc screws for the two Willmes Presses.

We ordered 4 Gray & Donaldson Airbag presses for the coming 1962 vintage.


Minutes 7th December 1961

Staff House No. 2 allocated. No idea?


Minutes 9th December 1961

Remaining Blackstone Engine sold to V R Migga for £140.

Butt Reece spoke about the Ruston and Hornsby Diesel Engine (solid injection), Flywheel 9'3" diameter, weight 4.25 tons, 71-72 RPM. Question is "when was it sold"?

Minutes 29th December 1961, Jack Webber retired.

New Oak casks are being imported.

I took over from DHC as Cellarmaster of the Berri Wine and Food Club.

Doug. had purchased on behalf of the Wine an Food Club a range of French wines when he was in France in 1960. The Club members certainly enjoyed the chance to appreciate the classic wines of France.


1962 Vintage Crush 22,956 tons

Allocation was 7,376 tons to Wine and 15,580 tons to Spirit. Ratio 32.13%

Average Baume 12.4°

I believe Ultracooler No. 2 was installed for 1962 vintage.


Minutes of the 30th September 1962 recorded that plant expansion was operating successfully and we had crushed a new record.


Minutes 2nd October 1962, 6 only 10,000 gallon concrete tanks approved to be built in the Main Cellar. I believe these tanks were installed on the east side of Block 417-432.

Gray & Donaldson to supply heavier walled air bags for 4 presses that were installed for the 1962 Vintage.

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