“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”

DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)





24 December 2014


The Proclamation of South Australia, 1836 

Painted in 1856 by Charles Hill, this work is in the Art Gallery of South Australia. 

Note the black dog. Kelpie? The only original owners are standing well back to the right, with their dog. Whatever were they thinking of this?

As you will read in the old newspaper report below, these settlers were very quick to get on with viticulture!

I have displayed the text here as it was in the original paper, without spacings. 

The Register, Adelaide, Friday 9 April, 1858


"For the last two or three years there has been gradually rising into importance a staple product of the colony which bids fair, at no very distant date, to equal, if not to exceed, any other of our chief sources of wealth. We refer to the article of wine, to the manufacture of which a large portion of the attention of our horticulturists is now directed. Believing, from the most irrefragable evidences, that the soil and climate of this country is eminently adapted to the culture of the grape, we have omitted no opportunity of urging the importance of carrying out that culture to the utmost possible extent and in the most profitable way. We now give prominence again to the subject by calling special attention to the returns connected with vineyards embraced in the very elaborate statistical tables got up by the Government, and published in our issue of yesterday. From these tables, it would appear that the land planted with vines in the colony at the end of 1857 amounted to 1,056 acres, and that the number of vines was 1,500,085. The wine manufactured amounted to 100,624 gallons. The details are given as follows : Aldinga, 2¼ acres, 4,000 vines, no wine; Alexandrine, 8 acres, 4,700 vines, no wine; Angaston, 65½ acres, 143,700 vines, wine 4,606 gallons; Barossa East, 7 acres, 21,180 vines, wine 1,768 gallons; Barossa West 15 acres, 22,250 vines, no wine; Bremer, particulars not given; Brighton, 18½ acres, 27,600 vines, wine 4,000 gallons; Burnside, 25¾ acres, 60,680 vines, wine 1,125 gallons; Clare, 15 acres, 20,750 vines, wine 1,000 gallons; Clarendon, 24½ acres, 30,000 vines, no wine; Echunga, 13 acres, 25,000 vines, wine 5,960 gallons; Encounter Bay, 2½ acres, 7204 vines, no wine; Highercombe, 100¾ acres, 171,710 vines, wine 15,260 gallons; Hindmarsh, 19 acres, 4,713 vines, no wine; Kondoparinga, IO¾ acres, 11,400 vines, wine 1,716 gallons; Macclesfield, 2 acres, 6,657 vines, wine 100 gallons; Mitcham, 107½ acres, 137,995 vines, wine 7,994 gallons; Morphett Vale, 44½ acres, 87,300 vines, wine 6,000 gallons; Mount Barker, 6½ acres, 10,925 vines, wine 779 gallons; Mount Crawford, 33½ acres, 27,900 vines, wine 958 gallons; Mudla Wirra 14¾ acres, 20,600 vines, wine 400 gallons; Munno Para East, 14¾ acres, 13,905 vines, wine 1,000 gallons; Munno Para West, 34½ acres, 71,520 vines, wine 54 gallons; Myponga 2¼ acres, 200 vines, no wine; Nairne, 6½ acres, 9,678 vines, wine 600 gallons ; Noarlunga, 11½ acres, 6,700 vines, wine 600 gallons; Onkaparinga, 25¾ acres, 30,000 vines, no wine; Para Wirra, 30¼ acres, 35,000 vines, wine 3,475 gallons; Payneham, 148¼ acres, 197,130 vines, wine 11,613 gallons; Port Elliot and Goolwa, 10½ acres, 4,000 vines, no wine; Rapid Bay, 7¼ acres, 18,050 vines, no wine; Strathalbyn, 7 acres, 14,414 vines, wine 128 gallons; Talunga, 12 acres, 15,000 vines, wine 914 gallons; Tanunda, 43¾ acres, 81,410 vines, wine 15,313 gallons; East Torrens, 7 acres, 10,000 vines, wine 2,500 gallons; West Torrens, 37¾ acres, 39,850 vines, wine 3,376 gallons; Tungkillo, 1 acre, 200 vines, no wine; Upper Wakefield, 6¾ acres, 6,500 vines, no wine; Walkerville, 7¼ acres, 7,730 vines, wine 650 gallons; Yankalilla, 4½ acres, 9,420 vines, no wine; Yatala, 25½ acres, 17,400 vines, wine 1,346 gallons; Hundreds of Saddleworth, I¾ acres, 900 vines, no wine; Belvidere, acres not given, 4,814 vines, no wine; Waterloo, acres not given, 50 vines, no wine; North Rhine, 16 acres, 17,890 vines, wine 5,400 gallons; Nuriootpa, 34¾ acres, 46,190 vines, wine 1,289 gallons; Kapunda, acres not given, 1,150 vines, no wine; Light, acres not given, 200 vines, no wine; Port Adelaide, 1½ acres, 1,100 vines, no wine; Port Lincoln, 4¾  acres, 1,694 vines, no wine; Louth I¼ acres, 380 vines, no wine; Stanley, 4½  acres, 150 vines, no wine; part of County of Gawler (South of Wakefield), acres not given, 1,500 vines, no wine; County Frome and adjacent country. 6 acres, 3,450 vines, no wine; County of Burra &c., 1 acre, 926 vines, no wine; County of Robe, 1 acre, 90 vines, no wine; County Grey, 1½ acres, 230 vines, no wine. It appears that correct returns could not in every instance be obtained, so that some of the foregoing numbers and quantities had to be estimated, but the statistics are, in all probability, sufficiently accurate for the purposes of calculation and comparison, whilst they present a very interesting and encouraging epitome of operations pregnant with importance to the future progress of the colony.  It will at once be apparent, from a consideration of the returns, that a great many of the vineyards are not yet in a condition to produce wine, or that the grapes have been sold for domestic consumption, as there is a great disproportion, in many cases, between the number of vines planted and the quantity of wine produced. We wish to show that the manufacture of saleable wine is the most profitable operation in which the vine-grower can be engaged. The value of the 100,624 gallons of wine made last year, at an average of 5s. per gallon, would be £25,156. This, divided by the number of acres of vineyard (1,056), would give an average of about £24 per acre. But, as we have said, a very small proportion of the grapes must have been converted into wine, supposing all the vineyards to have been  in full bearing. In the District of Tanunda we perceive that 15,313 gallons of wine were produced from 44 acres of vineyards, the average of which, at 5s. per gallon, would be £87 per acre. Had all the other vineyards been producing wine in the same ratio, the result of the vintage of 1857 would have been 367,512 gallons, valued at £91,878. But satisfactory as this result may seem, it is far below that which may be attained by skilful vine cultivation. We are supposing that our wine would not average more than 5s. per gallon. That, however, is a price that is easily obtainable for them in a new and imperfect condition. When by experience, age, and the use of improved scientific appliances we shall have brought them to a higher standard in quality and flavour we may expect they will realize considerably more than 5s. per gallon, although we are rather desirous of seeing our wines brought into general use for domestic and foreign consumption than of seeing them reserved at a high price as a luxury only to be indulged in by the wealthy and the great. We stated a short time ago that Mr. Henry Evans, of Evandale, near Angaston, had sold eighty-five hogsheads of wine, the produce of seven acres of vineyard, at a price which averaged him £230 per acre, at 6s. per gallon. This is a much higher yield than that of the Tanunda vineyards, even taking the difference in price into account, and it is, doubtless, considerably less than will be realized hereafter by a proper attention to vine-growing. Our wines, indifferently as they are managed in the manufacture, are nevertheless steadily acquiring celebrity, not only in the colonies, but in the markets of Europe. All the wines that can be manufactured by certain vine-growers here are eagerly bought up for exportation to England. When others come up to their standard the export trade will immensely increase. And when a thousandth part of the soil of the colony, suitable for the growth of the vine, is covered with flourishing vineyards, and the present incipient efforts at wine-making have been matured by information and experience, we shall have a staple article of colonial produce second in value to none that is exported from the colony. Already something like organization is beginning to be foreshadowed in relation to the wine trade. Efforts are being made to get up a Wine Company on a large scale, and merchants are establishing an export connection for our manufacture.  In a few years we may expect to see the business conducted with as much regularity and success as that of Lisbon or Xeres."

North Terrace Adelaide 1839 ... that'd be the Pilgrim Church, now beside the Morphett Street Bridge ... I'm still tracking down the details of this

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