My Days of Wine

1968 Vintage Crush 24224 tonnes

Allocation was 14,173 tonnes to Wine and 10,051 tonnes to Spirit. Ratio 58.51%

Average Baume 12.48°


January 1968

3 MacKenzie Foredrainers; Screw Conveyors and Drainer Must Lines etc.

The Foredrainers were built by F. Miller & Co. under license from Jock Mackenzie via his Australian Agent, E. Treliving and Son Ltd , Adelaide.


February 1968

Two Stainless Steel 50,000 gallon Tanks to be installed by Pinnacle Engineering Co.

The new Foredrainers were to provide some badly needed must receiving capacity and we installed a bin with auger under the drainers directing the drained marc to an open throat mono pump that delivered the marc to the airbag presses.


Minutes 15th May 1968

Approval given for 4 only 25,000 Gallon Concrete Tanks in No. 1 Cellar $9,000
B. J. Barry and R. G. Williams approved to judge at Royal Adelaide Wine Show.
Ted Haby, Gardener resigned. Ted I believe had been appointed when Alby Brand left in 1950 to work at Eudunda Farmers at Berri.
Martin Burke employed as Gardener.


Minutes 10th April 1968

3 only Cheese Pumps approved
Ray Harrip to retire after 1969 Vintage
Approval for B. J. Barry's residence to be built between Battams Road House and the Manager's residence. Contractor was Eddie Turnow, a builder at Glossop.


Minutes 26th June 1968

5 Airbag presses sold-to whom and what happened to the sixth press?


Minutes 15th August 1968

4 only Mono pumps
1 only Cheese Pump
1 only Impellor
The above items were approved at a total cost of $6,500

Ouzo Production commenced.


Minutes 29th August 1968

New Crusher Bins for No. 1 Ferment Cellar approved for $9,500
My other query is if we built the three No.1 Cellar Crusher bins and installed Mauri Cheese centrifugal pumps? The Whitehill crushers were upgraded regards revolutions and we changed the bin configuration to deliver the crushed mass down to new sump sloped to the end of the screen discharge area.

As a result the stalks contained much more liquid. Probably a week or so after we had been operating, Richie Caddy, are Board Member called me aside, and pointed out that there was much more juice draining from the stalk truck. Richie and I went down to look at the result and I said "OK, I will fix that". Off to see Butt Reece, and we went down and looked at the elevator and we agreed that given a couple of days we could install a water washing system. We were using heads refermentation at the time which needed dilution and the stalk wash volume was not a problem.


Minutes 12th September 1968

Replacement Blair Condenser and Plate Heat Exchanger approved $5,150


Minutes 30th October 1968

1 only 4" Open Throat Mono Pump $2,578
Broomwade Air Compressor for MacKenzie Press $6,075
Sulphur dioxide Dosing Meter $570


Minutes 12th December 1968

100 English Oak Hogsheads $10,000

Brian and Anne were married in February and we gathered at the Sturt Highway house after the ceremony. Check marriage was in June. Jud born in March 1969.

The Company then built a 3 bedroom residence on the ridge between the Manager's residence and the Battams Road house for Brian and Anne. Built by Eddie Turnow. Structural Story may be of interest.

Have Budget.

Airbag presses retired after vintage to perhaps Industrial Supplies? Check with Brian Barry re minutes note of 5 units were sold. What happened to the sixth unit?

MAC 4 Stage Press installed and was built by F. Miller & Co. for the 1969 vintage. Ian McKenzie can remember he and Ivor Noske chiseling holes with a hammer and a hand star drill for the holding down loxins for the press support columns in the concrete floor. They spent many hours hammering away.

Murray Pioneer article May 15th 1969 featured the Twin Ultracooler so would have been installed for the 1969 vintage.


1969 Vintage Crush 26353 tonnes

Allocation was 14,148 tonnes to Wine and 12,205 tonnes to Spirit. Ratio 53.69%

Average Baume 11.57° (including Sultana)


Minutes 27th August 1969

Centrifugal Pumps for No. 2 Cellar $1,500
Sulphur Dioxide Meter No. 2 $750
Barrel Rack for No. 4 Cellar $1,700
French Oak Hogsheads $4,400
Power Lines $1,500
Carbon Ring Air Compressor for Still Controls $1,000
11/2" Mono Pump for Bond Store Transfers $700
Level Gauge for S.V.R Tank $350
2 only 500 Gallon Stainless Steel Tanks
No. 9 Bin and Roller Crusher $17,000


Minutes 29th October 1969

Bottle Washing Outfit $8,260

Since the 1959 vintage the pressed marc was conveyed from the presses to trailers that we would then tractor down to the Tarac premises. Make note re the trailer tire/hub assemblies were retired airplane units. BR would have a comment.

Having committed to the MAC Press, we then decided to install the open throat mono pump at the end of the MAC Press and pump direct to the Tarac premises receival bin. To do this we extended the Tarac sludging line to No. 4 with an illegal switch between the two premises. The marc discharge line was installed using 150 mm ID high density polythene, using stainless steel tubular joiners and was supported inside the main cellar, past the rear of my office, then outside north of the water tower across to No. 3 Ferment Cellar, over the Cornish Boilers and past the end of the north-east corner of the still house over the evaporative coolers to the Tarac Bin. This bin had been fitted with a chopping device for some years to reduce the stalk dimensions and allow the pump to perform without the impeller being clogged by the stalks. A design by Russell Frost who was the Engineer at Tarac.

During the dry red intake we usually had a blockage, caused by Shiraz grape seeds collecting in the sagging section over the Cornish boilers. I kept a sufficient length of two inch ID diameter polythene hose at the Tarac bin and I would push this pipe up the marc line with the water at full bore and clear the area over the low section. We kept doing this since raising of the low section was a low priority given all the other things we had to do.

Jock MacKenzie came out during the vintage to check on the performance of the press. Brian remembers taking Jock up to meet Anne for lunch one day and Brian promptly fell asleep after the meal and still can be embarrassed about the recollection today. It was a busy period at this stage of vintage.

Ian McKenzie has the story about Brian Walsh and Mark Babidge being Roseworthy College Oenology vintage students. Somehow, and anything is possible, the boys dented their Morris Mini at Waikerie. Phoned Ian after midnight. He found a trailer, went down and collected them and delivered them in time for their shift start at No. 4 Cellar at 8 A.M..

Speaking recently with Neil Wilkinson, Viticulturist with G. Gramp & Sons, he recalled problems with their side tipping bins when delivering to No. 9 Crusher Bin. Solved by installing a longer hydraulic ram. We had arranged with Gramps to take their fruit at Berri rather than transport it elsewhere.

Ian McKenzie and Sylvia Pringle tied the diamond knot and members of the Berri Wine Food Club celebrated the event at our Sturt Highway home. We had been breeding Muscovy and Khaki Campbell ducks since Doug and Mary Collett left in December 1966. Doug and Mary Collett had left a Muscovy drake and six ducks plus six or seven Khaki Campbell's. In the years 1967-70 we bred more than 200 ducks. My regular practice was to harvest a dozen or so, dispatch them as painlessly as possible, take the birds up to the boiler room. Crack the steam valve on the Small Cornish Boiler to the wax pot to boil up a hot water/wax mixture. Douse the birds and leave the wax coating to set, back home and then peel off the feathers and prepare the birds for cooking and/or freezing. Three hours from go to wo.

Have Budget

A further ten 50,000 gallon 316 grade stainless steel tanks were installed to compliment SS1 and SS2. These were built by Austral Sheet Metal under the supervision of "Augie" Mills and were operational for the 1970 vintage.

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