3 Things You Need To Know About Barrel Storage

Anyone in the industry knows storage is critical...

Anyone in the industry knows storage is critical when we’re talking about barrels. With decades of experience in viticulture behind us, we know components that are a must – and some things to avoid.

There are three major components to consider when exploring storage solutions and designs – let’s take a deep dive into them.


This can be difficult to regulate and control year-round due to our harsh Aussie climate, but it’s critical to proper storage.

A study conducted by The Australian Wine Research Institute illuminated that across a period of 12 months, the temperature had a significant effect on the end product. Phenolic and colour measurements and SO2 were the most significant differences.

Our dealings with Stephen Stoll is a great example of this. Operating a booming viticulturally based contracting business in the Barossa Valley naturally, growth in his equipment became a necessity. Trusting our expert experience and service, Stephen chose Gorilla Agri and Spanlift to facilitate this.

In constructing a Viticulture Implement Shed, temperature was a contributing factor including features that utilised and protected from natural light. The project was a massive success, and at every stage, all parties were engaged and working great together!

Read more: Case Study – Viticulture Implement Shed



Needless to say, sanitation in viticulture is a must. Studies show that the final product can be swayed and ruined if stored in an unsensitised barrel.

It’s important to note that with wooden barrels, microorganisms can burrow up to 8mm below the surface. If you’ve got wooden barrels, you might need to take a deeper dive into your cleaning process than if you were opting for a stainless-steel option.

Tips to consider when cleaning your barrels:

      • Tip barrels almost upside-down to drain any remaining liquid
      • Use a high-pressure hose when spraying
      • Initially use cold water to wash, then progress to hotter temperatures
      • Consider using steam or alternative treatments for persistent messes

Ensuring your barrels are stored with ample space:

Convenience aside, a crowded storage facility can make for dangerous working conditions. At Gorilla we carefully consider the dimensions of your space as well as the size of your harvest – both now and in the future. We do this to ensure that your space is optimised, making sure to leave no wasted space. There are a few ways we accomplish this:

      • Insulated wall and ceiling systems up to R5
      • Double skin cladding
      • Column placements suited to barrel storage patterns and barrel washing equipment
      • Maximising your barrel storage height
      • Door configurations and layouts to suit your operation
      • External loading canopies
      • Easy to clean wall and ceiling lining systems
      • A visual design that reflects your individual style
      • Design smarts that allow you to be able to extend the building with ease in the future
          • Making expansion a breeze in the time to come

Additionally, we also pay attention to the aesthetic of our design and layout of your space – offering you a smart design that’s unique to every space.


Maximise storage space in your barrel room with the Barrel Master:

After outlining the importance of storage, how can you improve yours? Opting for the Gorilla Barrel Masters can up the ante when it comes to layout, design, functionality, manoeuvrability, and more.

What you get:

      • Strictly secure storage while bearing no weight
      • Highly versatile storage accommodating thinner or uneven barrel sizes
      • Greater access for topping, sampling, and pumping
      • Damage-combating design with no sharp edges and seamless barrel turning innovation
      • Dedicated customer support from our experienced local team

“A part of creating a beautiful brand is also creating a beautiful space for our customers to see and be part of it. And that meant we didn’t want to just put our barrels on pieces of wood or sitting out, we wanted to have them sitting proud for everyone to have a look at. So, we decided on the Barrel Master Racks,” said James, founder of Wildflower Gin and satisfied Gorilla Agri customer.

Gorilla grape bins and barrel racks are the preferred solution for key wineries around South Australia – contact us today to find out how we can help you with your storage needs.

A Tale Of Sisterhood, Family And Excellence In Winemaking

At Gorilla we are passionate about our clients...

At Gorilla we are passionate about our clients & helping them achieve their full potential throughout their 160 years of innovation. Read about how Bremerton Wines has excelled within the South Australian wine industry through the words of Katie Spain. The Producers Book by BudMedia showcases Bremerton Wines & so many more Gorilla clients.

Sisters Rebecca and Lucy Willson are a dynamic duo with Langhorne Creek wine on their mind. The smell of print, not barrels, permeated their childhood

“We grew up in Whyalla,” Lucy says. “Our grandfather started the Whyalla newspaper and Dad and his brothers took over before we were born. It was our family business, so we’d sit there stuffing newspapers on weekends.”

Their parents purchased their Langhorne Creek property in 1985. Back then it was an irrigated lucerne farm. “Mum and Dad came down here one weekend, fell in love with the house and bought it. They had no idea how they were going to pay for it,” Lucy says.

At that stage they didn’t have vineyards but their father loved red wine. In 1988, he purchased 750 kilos of fruit from the next-door neighbour, put it in the ute and drove it to Mitchell Wines in Clare, where it was made into wine. “Our very first label was blue and silver with a photocopied picture of their house,” Rebecca says. “Dad drank most of it.”

Experimentation continued with small batches of fruit. The family launched their Bremerton Wines Shiraz in 1991. They planted their first grapes (Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon) that same year, followed by an additional two hectares of each in 1992.

“The cellar door opened in October 1994, ultimately as a hobby for Mum and Dad,” Lucy says. “It was going to be open five days a week and Mum was doing food in there – that was their summary of where the business was. That’s all they wanted… a bit of a lifestyle thing.”

Rebecca and Lucy are co-general managers of the business. Rebecca is also winemaker and looks after all-things production while Lucy oversees the marketing, sales and admin.

Rebecca initially wanted to work in newspapers but fell into wine marketing through a course at Roseworthy Agricultural College. “During my first year of introductory winemaking studies, I fell in love with it.” She went on to study winemaking at the University of Adelaide’s Waite campus. From there, she was hooked.

Lucy also fell into her general manager and marketing gig. She was at a summer camp in the United States when her father asked her to help out in the office. “I cut my trip by a few months and came home. From there it just evolved.”

Now, the girls have children of their own. If you’re lucky you’ll see them during a visit to Bremerton Wines’ cellar door. It’s a gorgeous spot. Tastings happen in a restored, split-level, 1866 stone barn. It serves up impressive share-plates and pizza, and hosts regular art exhibitions. For their efforts, Bremerton Wines snapped up the Best Tasting Experience Award in Gourmet Traveller Wine’s Best Cellar Door Awards 2018.

Their journey has been hammered by the elements. On 18 December 1992, a major flood hit, drowning the lucerne and causing major damage to the farm and buildings.

“It was what they call the 50-year flood and it was bigger than anything that’d been seen for a very long time,” Lucy says. “It was the fifth flood we’d had that year. It was the turning point for everything. When I look back now, I have no idea how they coped at the time. There was no insurance.”

After the devastation, the family planted vineyards in the rich Bremer River floodplain soil and threw themselves into wine production. Today, they have more than 18 wines, a third of which are exclusive to the cellar door and Bremerton Wine Society members.

When Rebecca took over full-time winemaking duties in 1997, she was just 25. Her 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon was rated third best Cabernet in Australia by Winestate Magazine. The accolades haven’t stopped. For more than a decade, Bremerton Wines has been awarded the James Halliday five-star-rated winery, placing them in the top five per cent of all Australian wineries.  Rebecca was also a finalist for Gourmet Traveller Wine 2017.

Their aim is to produce premium wines using premium grapes. The best fruit is selected each year and a percentage sold to other wineries. These include Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Verdelho, Chardonnay and Malbec, along with small plantings of alternative varieties like Fiano, Tempranillo and Graciano.

When they’re not hanging out with their offspring or talking food and wine with their partners (who are also in the wine industry), they’re usually consuming it. “It sounds clichéd but when we say this is our life, it really is,” Rebecca says. “This is what we do and everything somehow comes back to work, food and wine – but that’s okay because we love it.”

Gorilla grape bins & barrel racks help so many wineries around South Australia just like Bremerton Wines. Contact us today and we can supply you with all your grape & wine storage needs.

Showcasing The Excellence Of Bleasdale Winery In South Australia

At Gorilla we are passionate about our clients...

At Gorilla we are passionate about our clients & helping them achieve their full potential throughout their 160 years of innovation. Read about how Bleasdale Winery has excelled within the South Australian wine industry through the words of Katie Spain. The Producers Book by BudMedia showcases Bleasdale Winery & so many more Gorilla clients.


Langhorne Creek winery, Bleasdale isn’t out to be the biggest of them all. “We just want to be a winery that’s well respected,” general manager Martin Strachan says. “And true to our roots.”

Those roots stem back to 1850, when Bleasdale Vineyards was established by Frank Potts. The first 30 acres of Shiraz and Verdelho were planted soon after. 

The property is located on the region’s wide floodplains, where early grape growers harnessed the Bremer River’s natural flooding and Frank developed a system of levees and floodgates to capture and divert water and trap nutrient-rich silt across the entire vineyard. The vigour in growth caused by this natural abundance of water sometimes presented challenges but it is now managed by modern viticultural practices. Over the years, further varieties were planted, including Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.

Bleasdale’s fifth and sixth -generation family members continue to contribute and capture the essence of what makes the region’s red wines so special – vibrancy, harmony and texture. In 2011, they began sourcing Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc from the cooler Adelaide Hills region, and quickly built a reputation for quality and value white wines.

They’ve won awards for their efforts. In 2018, senior winemaker Paul Hotker was awarded Wine Companion Winemaker of the Year by James Halliday. “Over time, Paul has put his thumbprint on our wines and they’re kicking goals,” Martin says.

Halliday famously named Langhorne Creek the, “Most underrated region in Australia”. The Halliday Wine Companion 2018 edition rated a number of Bleasdale wines 95 or above, and Bleasdale has retained its Halliday red five-star status for the fifth year in a row.

“Bleasdale has more than 165 years of history behind it,” Paul said after winning the coveted award. “In another 165 years, I don’t want people to talk about the wines that Hotker made; I want them to recognise these wines are good because they are made from superb quality grapes from Langhorne Creek and the Adelaide Hills that were treated with care and respect.”

Whether it’s a $12 or $70 wine, a Sparkling Shiraz, a single-vineyard Malbec or the Frank Potts Cabernet blend, Bleasdale wines convey a story in the glass that substantiates its history, diversity and, increasingly, its pedigree.

The cellar door is open seven days a week and is an impressive place in which to try them. Visitors can walk through parts of the winery to see old hand-hewn red gum vats and the famous 1892 3.5-tonne lever basket press.

To experience the best of the region, stay awhile and meet the locals. “There’s a level of humility in the people and families that live here,” Martin says. “They are true farming people and have a lovely approach to life – they don’t take themselves too seriously.” 


Gorilla grape bins & barrel racks help so many wineries around South Australia just like Bleasdale Winery. Contact us today and we can supply you with all your grape & wine storage needs.

Barossa Boy Wines – A South Australian Winery Success Story

Gorilla client Barossa Boy Wines have been...

Gorilla client Barossa Boy Wines have been perfecting their craft for six generations. Read their story as written by Katie Spain. The Producers Book honours giving so much towards the South Australian food & wine industry. Get your own copy from BudMedia.

Sixth generation Barossa winemaker Trent Burge comes from strong Barossa stock. His family’s long association with winemaking in the region can be traced back to 1855 when Trent’s great-great-great grandfather John Burge immigrated to South Australia and worked as a winemaker. Every generation since followed in his footsteps. 

Trents’ parents, Grant and Helen Burge, founded Grant Burge Wines in 1988 (now owned by Accolade Wines) and Trent engrossed himself in the industry from the ground up – just like his father and grandfather. He cut his teeth as a cellar hand and winemaker’s assistant, and worked vintage alongside the experienced team at Illaparra Winery.

Now, it’s time to fly solo. Trent launched his own wine label Barossa Boy after a particularly great vintage in 2016.

The name is apt. “I remember having a family meeting and my family was hassling me about what I was going to call it. I quite quickly said, ‘Something like Barossa Boy’. We all kind of stopped and thought, ‘Oh, actually, that sounds alright’.”

The brand is a showcase of his undying love for the Barossa. “It’s not just about me, it’s about introducing and bringing as many people to the Barossa as we can.”

He didn’t have an interest in showcasing wines from other regions.  “It’s very much about showcasing what the generations before us achieved.” His 2016 Little Tacker Grenache Shiraz Mataro and 2016 Double Trouble Shiraz Cabernet were made alongside winemakers at Illaparra Winery. “The GSM is very fruitful and fun and fresh,” he says. “Like every good little tacker, it has a dark side at the end with some nice tannins and structure to it.”

Wine critic James Halliday selected the 2016 Double Trouble Shiraz Cabernet for his 2018 Cellaring Selections mini-guide, gave it an impressive 94 points and awarded the brand an impressive four stars on its inaugural place in his James Halliday Wine Companion 2019.  His Lifeblood Shiraz and Young Wisdom Mataro have since been released and Trent expects an equally good response to these wines. 

“My philosophy is people sometimes overcomplicate the wine industry,” Trent says. “My generation goes out to dinner parties with friends and lots of people are worried that if they take the wine to the party, someone might know something about it and they get intimidated… so they choose beer before they choose wine because there’s less to talk about.”

He plans to produce whites that are a talking point. 

“We’re going to do a Riesling from the Eden Valley and then our bigger project over the next five years is to try to source some premium Chardonnay fruit, and have a really top, iconic Barossa Chardonnay that is really refined, buttery and lovely.”

Trent puts a focus on the story and romance rather than technicalities (though he’ll talk about structure, tannins and palate for ages if you indulge him). “If I can create a story and someone can talk to me about why it’s called that, it makes it more approachable. Then people can just go to their dinner party and tell that story.”

He says authenticity is key. “There are so many brands out there. With social media and the internet, you can very much get caught out if you’re not authentic. I really want to show people behind the scenes to make them feel that they’re part of the family.”

The eventual plan is to have a cellar door. “It might take a few years but we want to keep bringing wine lovers to the Barossa, having events and making experiences for them to enjoy along the way.”

In 2017, Trent and his wife Jessica welcomed their first child, the seventh generation in the Burge and Barossa Boy’s journey.

Getting yourself prepared for a thriving winery can come down to the way you prepare for harvest. Having grape bins lasting an operational lifetime can prepare you for years to come. Contact Gorilla & we can fit you out with grape & produce bins to suit your winery needs.

Honouring South Australian Winery Success With Balnaves Of Coonawarra

Gorilla loves celebrating our clients & all...

Gorilla loves celebrating our clients & all they do for the South Australian wine industry & Katie Spain has done just that. The Balnaves of Coonawarra winery keep their family values alive throughout their work as displayed in The Producers Book. Read more about this small family winery by getting a copy of the book here from BudMedia.

Kirsty and Pete Balnaves have a lot to live up to. They grew up under the watchful and loving eyes of Annette and Doug Balnaves – two of Coonawarra’s hardworking residents.
“Mum had a saying: Do it once, do it well, do it with passion, do it with love, do it for family, do it now,” Kirsty says. “And she lived by that every day. Mum and Dad drove tractors, worked in cellar doors, planted vines and pruned vines. Both sat on tourism boards and numerous other boards, both regional and state, they were involved with the Coonawarra Vignerons and volunteered with many committees in the Penola and Coonawarra communities… they were, and are still, so committed to our region.”
The Balnaves family arrived in the Coonawarra district in 1855. Doug was a farmer and part-time shearer when Hungerford Hill Vineyards employed him in 1971. His job was to develop 100 hectares of vines on the Coonawarra property they’d purchased from the Balnaves family in 1970.
At the time he had no idea he’d eventually go on to run his own successful wine brand, though ‘successful’ is an understatement. As of 2019, Balnaves of Coonawarra has been named a James Halliday five-star winery an impressive 17 years in a row.
Fellow Coonawarra wine buff Bill Redman (aka ‘the Grand Old Man of Coonawarra’) helped Doug make his first wine in an old cement vat in 1974. Soon after, Doug planted the first of Balnaves’ vineyards (Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz – still producing outstanding wines 43 years later) but has been happy to leave winemaking in the hands of qualified winemakers. In 1986, Doug resigned as manager of the Hungerford Hill Coonawarra vineyards to focus on his own vineyard.
Kirsty and Pete returned from Tasmania and New South Wales in the late eighties to join the family company. That year their wines were produced on a contract basis at a neighbouring winery. “Mum and Dad taught us how to work hard, be fair, have a go, and give back,” Kirsty says. “To their great credit, they let us be involved, have a crack, make mistakes and Pete and I both signed the guarantees with the bank to build a winery in 1995.” She grins. “It ensured that we got out of bed to work every morning, were very interested in how the business worked, and were very involved in all aspects of the business from an early age – we both wanted to keep a roof over our heads!”
Family is everything to the Balnaves. When Annette passed away in mid-2018, they were devastated. “To be honest, I think we are facing our biggest challenge with the recent loss of Mum,” Kirsty says. “She was one of the driving forces in our business, right from the start, and we will continue with her determination and commitment to our business every day.”
Staff members are regarded as family, too. “Our family values define our business culture, which is reflected in our brand and who we are. Above all, we are genuine and real and we’ve made all the mistakes in the book.”
Winemaker Pete Bissell joined the crew in 1995, has worked his magic on more than 20 vintages, and oversees the architectural, award-winning 1000-tonne winery.
A fine job he’s done of it, too. In 2018, The Tally Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was included in the revered Langton’s Classification with its third consecutive outstanding classification.
The team won’t rest on its laurels. They are committed to improving, “whether it be looking at new cabernet clones, how to improve our cellar door experience, technology in vineyards such as Greenseeker imaging, new packaging, continuous trials with our wines and vineyards, and working with a great bunch of people”.
The release of the William Wilson Shiraz Cabernet in 2018 celebrates the legacy of William Wilson, a Scottish immigrant who inspired John Riddoch to establish the Penola Fruit Colony in terra rossa soils, which went on to become the Coonawarra wine region. It was released 200 years after his birth and is a collaboration between his descendants – the Redman and Balnaves families.
It is a nod to the past, the present, and the future. “There is currently a buzz around the region. With vineyards being redeveloped, new clones and varieties, new opportunities, and new people moving into the district,” Pete Balnaves says. “This is a real commitment to the long-term future of Coonawarra.”

If you are like Balnaves of Coonawarra, a thriving winery in need of grape bins for harvest, and barrel racking systems for storing wine, you need to contact Gorilla. We have all the products to help you get through the year successfully.