Why Upgrading Barrel Masters is a Great Idea for Wineries

If you are in the wine industry, you will know...

If you are in the wine industry, you will know that the storage and handling of your barrels is critical to maintaining the quality of your wine. Traditional barrel cradles, being the choice from a cost perspective, can be inefficient and even dangerous. That’s why transitioning to the Barrel Masters is a smart move for wineries looking to optimise their barrel storage and safety.

Pro’s of Barrel Cradels:

These racks have lower stacking heights, and all weight is supported by the bottom barrel, leading to instability and even collapse. In fact, Safework Australia, the organisation responsible for promoting safety in the workplace, has been focused on improving safe handling and use of traditional barrel cradles. Here are some of the concerns with cradles.

  • Cradles don’t allow for efficient access to the barrels
  • Makes topping, sampling, and pumping more difficult and
  • Time-consuming and harder for barrel-turning
  • No interlocking system

The Barrel Master, however, solves these problems and more, providing a safer and more effective storage solution for wineries.

Key Benefits of the Barrel Masters include:

  • High stacking capabilities: The Barrel Master allows for greater storage volumes with a minimal footprint, making the most of your space.
  • Safe and secure storage: The unique interlocking locating system optimises space-saving and structural checks, while the protrusion-free construction ensures the safety of machinery and personnel.
  • Versatile storage: The Barrel Master can accommodate thinner or uneven barrel sizes, providing greater flexibility for your winery.
  • Innovative rotation options: The Barrel Master offers a variety of rotation options, including part rotation, occasional 360° rotation, and frequent complete 360° rotation, allowing for easy access to all barrels.
  • Easy to move: The Barrel Master is portable and can be safely moved using a forklift.
  • Durable and long-lasting: The Barrel Master is available in pre-galvanised material or post-manufacture hot dip galvanisation for a longer life span. It also features a damage-resistant design with no sharp edges and seamless barrel turning innovation.

With full international design registration, the Barrel Masters holds Australian Registered Design No: 154262, USA Design Application No: 29/201283, Canadian Design Application No:106040, and International Design Application No: PCT/AU2004/000853.

By transitioning to the Gorilla Barrel Master, wineries can benefit from a safer, more efficient, and more versatile barrel storage solution.

Don’t let inefficient and potentially dangerous barrel cradles compromise your production. Talk to us today about how you can transition to the Gorilla Barrel Master.


barrel storage solutions

Gorilla Master Barrel Solutions

Barrel Kings – New Barrel Storage Solutions

Over the years, Gorilla Products barrel storage...

Over the years, Gorilla Products barrel storage solutions have improved drastically when updating from the Barrel Cradle to the Barrel Master, with improvements such as no longer relying on the structural rigidity of your barrels as a part of rack’s structure, improved stacking efficiency and ease-of-use. Since then, we have been working to further refine this design to further improve our stacking efficiency, maximum heights, safety, ease-of-stacking and more.

After years of research and development, we are proud to introduce our full-sized barrel storage solution: the Barrel King.

Barrel kings are a direct successor to the barrel master line of solutions, featuring a number of improvements including:

  1. New patented cone shaped interlocking system on the tops and bases of the rack to improve stacking efficiency thanks to their self-locating design
  2. Rounded base design to reduce scratching and damage to flooring
  3. Optional spring locking system to allow for safe stacking up to 10 racks high
  4. Damage-combating design with no sharp edges
  5. Optional rotation options including part rotation, occasional 360 deg rotation and frequent complete 360 deg rotation
  6. Highly versatile storage accommodating thinner or uneven barrel sizes
  7. Greater access for topping, sampling and pumping
  8. Strictly secure storage while bearing no weight on barrels

Gorilla barrel kings are built to engineering standards for their specified weight and height bearing limits and will increase the overall safety of your barrel store thanks to their heightened safety compared to barrel cradle style storage solutions.

Want to learn more? Download a free viticulture brochure here to view the full range of our products – Looking at building a new cellar door, barrel store or vineyard machinery shed? Check out our sister brand Spanlift Australia for more information regarding how we can assist with a complete solution for your winery!

Importance of Quality Grape Bins

Wine production is a complex process that...

Wine production is a complex process that requires the use of different equipment to ensure that grapes are harvested, stored, and fermented correctly. One of the most important and most overlooked pieces of equipment for this process is the humble grape bin. The importance of quality grape bins is huge when it comes to avoiding failure during transport which could cost you heaps of money.

Gorilla grape bins are a popular choice among grape growers for their durability and strength. These bins are made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic, making them resistant to impact, weathering, and chemicals. They are also lightweight and easy to handle, making them ideal for transporting and storing grapes.

One of the key benefits of using Gorilla grape bins is their stackability. These bins are designed to stack with each other while empty, which allows for efficient storage and transportation. This feature also helps to prevent damage to the grapes during transport, as the bins will not shift or tip over.

Gorilla grape bins come in a variety of sizes to accommodate different types of grapes and vineyards. They can hold anywhere from 1/2 ton to 2.5 tons of grapes, and are available in both open-top and closed-top designs. The open-top design allows for easy loading and unloading, while the closed-top design helps to protect the grapes from the elements.

Another benefit of Gorilla grape bins is their easy cleaning and sanitation. The smooth, non-porous surface of the HDPE plastic makes them easy to clean and sanitize, which is important for maintaining the quality and safety of the grapes.


Upgrade your wine production with our top-of-the-line grape bins. Call us on 08 8423 1036 or email us at today for more information to learn more about our full range of viticultural solutions!


Why Barrel Racks are the right choice for Your Winery

  As a winery owner, the quality and...


As a winery owner, the quality and durability of your barrel racking is crucial for the proper aging and storage of your wine. Gorilla Agri Products, an Australian manufacturer, offers high-quality barrel racking solutions that are designed specifically for the wine industry. Not only do they provide a safe and secure storage option for your barrels, but they are also compliant with industry regulations.

Furthermore, choosing an Australian-made barrel racking ensures shorter lead times and improved delivery, as the product is manufactured in the same country. Supporting local manufacturing not only helps to promote the local economy, but also gives you peace of mind knowing that you are getting a top-quality product that is made to withstand the unique conditions of an Australian winery. Gorilla Agri Products also offers custom solutions to better fit your winery needs and can meet on site or online to discuss a solution.

In conclusion, when it comes to barrel racking, Gorilla Agri Products offers a superior option for wineries. Our locally made, industry-compliant, accredited and certified, and customizable solutions ensure the proper aging and storage of your wine, while supporting the industry and local economy. If you would like to learn more, check out our barrel storage solutions here!

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.

Celebrating South Australian Winery Success With Angove Family Winemakers

Gorilla Customer Angove Family Winemakers are a...

Gorilla Customer Angove Family Winemakers are a fifth-generation family business dedicated to crafting super-premium and single-vineyard McLaren Vale wines.
Gorilla is so proud to hear of all the success our customers have in the South Australian wine industry showcased in The Producers Book. Read more about Angove Family Winemakers as written by Katie Spain & published by BudMedia. Get your copy of The Producers Book here today.

When Victoria Angove watches her daughter play football at Tea Tree Gully in the Adelaide foothills, it is a trip down memory lane. “That’s where it all started,” she says. “The business started as a hobby very much to support a medical practice. It really did build from there.”

Angove Family Winemakers was founded in 1886 when Dr William Thomas Angove emigrated from Cornwall, England, to Tea Tree Gully. Once settled, he established a medical practice and began making wine as a tonic for his patients.
He planted 10 acres of vines and produced dry table and fortified wine. A growing customer base turned the hobby into a business. “Every generation has really had a different influence on the evolution of the business,” Victoria says.

Thomas ‘Skipper’ Carlyon Angove (William’s son) took things to the next level when he produced a diverse range of wines for local and export markets (no mean feat during the two world wars). He also established a new winery in Renmark in 1910 – the first in the region. It was an exciting chapter, during which the family produced still and fortified wines and also established the St Agnes Distillery. When Thomas William Carlyon Angove completed a degree in oenology at Adelaide University’s Roseworthy Campus, he cemented the brand’s focus on quality winemaking. Over time he expanded the crushing and processing facilities, planted the Nanya Vineyard (the largest single vineyard in the Southern Hemisphere at the time), and was responsible for significant industry innovations. His efforts earned him an Order of Australia in 1994.

During his tenure, the winery was thrown a curve ball. “In the late seventies, our premium vineyard holdings in Tea Tree Gully were compulsorily acquired by the Dunstan government and turned into housing,” Victoria says. “It was pretty tough for our business, though I don’t remember much because I was only five.” She does, however, recall sitting on the crushers with her brother and joint managing director Richard, now an established winemaker in his own right. “We were country kids, so we spent a lot of time outside and we were, to some extent, allowed to explore the winery a lot on weekends. It was a very carefree childhood and there was never any pressure or overt expectation that we would have to go into the family business at all. Mum and Dad were very keen for us to follow what we loved. Education was really important to both of them, as was work ethic – something I’m so deeply grateful for.”

John Carlyon Angove, the fourth generation of the family, took over from his father in 1982 and has dramatically evolved the business, with a focus on organic viticulture and winemaking and premium and single-vineyard wine from McLaren Vale. The family is Australia’s largest organic grape grower and winemaker, with all family owned vineyards (approximately 500 hectares) farmed using organic principals and either in conversion or certified organic.

In 2008, the family purchased a unique and historic vineyard in McLaren Vale and renamed it the Warboys Vineyard. It, too, is farmed using organic and biodynamic practices. In 2011, their spectacular cellar door and function facility opened in the heart of McLaren Vale and is very much the jewel in the crown.

Now, Victoria, Richard and their sister Sophie lead one of the most significant family-owned and operated wine businesses in Australia. It has five generations of winemakers and more than 130 years of history behind it. The future is bright. “We are very lucky to have an incredible team that we work with across the entire company. There is a strong family ethos that Dad has passed down to us – there is no doubt that we continue today because of the sheer hard work of many before us and currently working with us. Richard and I are very grateful for everyone’s input – and also that Dad still is generous with sharing his wisdom and experience, but not being too heavy handed with it,” Victoria says. “The Australian wine industry is a sensational industry to be in, we make an extraordinary array of truly delicious wines. I think my grandfather would be fairly excited by where we’re at now. He struggled to deliver praise but in his later years would give a throwaway line from his hospital bed that made you know that he was proud of Dad and proud of us as new custodians.”

If you, like Angove Family Winemakers, need your wine barrels stacked safely or need to pick your grapes with ease during harvest with a food grade grape bin, then contact Gorilla & we can supply all your wine barrel storage needs.