Sunday History Photo / SA

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 20, 2013 at 06:38
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Seppeltsfield, one of Australia’s oldest wineries was founded in 1851 by Joseph Ernst Seppelt.
Joseph Seppelt, a merchant who sold such commodities as tobacco and liqueurs, emigrated with his family from Poland to Australia in 1849 to break free from political and economical issues. In 1850, he and his family settled in Klemzig. He was intent on growing and selling tobacco. After discovering that the land was not suited for such purpose, Joseph Seppelt and his family decided settle in the Barossa Valley in 1851.



In 1851, Seppelt purchased 158 acres of land for about 1Pound an acre. He would later call this land Seppeltsfield. He soon discovered that, as was the case in Klemzig, the land in the Barossa Valley was not suited for growing proper tobacco. However, the Seppelts did have success growing wheat on their land and were able to sell it for high prices due to high demand at the time. With his knowledge of liqueur gained from his days at a merchant, Seppelt saw there was potential for wine production on his land. Soon thereafter, the Seppelts planted vines that flourished, and by 1867, Joseph had begun construction of a full scale winery and by 1878, the port store cellar was completed. Today, the cellar holds about 9 million litres of fortified wine.



Joseph Seppelt did not live to see the completion of his winery, as he died in early 1868. Oscar Seppelt, his eldest son, inherited a 55% majority of the winery at that time at the age of 21. Benno’s younger siblings Victor and Ottilie inherited 30% and 15% of the winery respectively. He would later buy out his younger siblings and retain complete control of the winery.
In 1878, Benno selected a 500 litre barrel of one of his finest port-style wines and declared that the barrel would be allowed to mature for 100 years. It was at that time that the idea of for the Seppeltsfield 100 year old Para Tawny port-style wine was born. From 1878 on, every year the Seppelts would set aside more of their finest wine for 100 years of barrel maturation. In 1978, the first bottles of the 100 year old Para Tawny were released.





The 100 year old Para Tawny has become the signature wine for the Seppeltsfield brand. Seppeltsfield is the only winery to have notable amounts of wine set aside in consecutive vintages of over 100 years.
Benno and his wife had a total of 16 children. After his death in 1931, many of his children took controlling interests in the company. The winery remained in the Seppelt family until 1984 when it was purchased by SA Brewing Holdings.

the 2000 plus date palms, were mostly planted during the Great Depression.



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Reply By: Member - neville G (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 20, 2013 at 08:21

Sunday, Jan 20, 2013 at 08:21
Great read Doug as are all your articles. Keep ,em comming and have a great 2013.
Cheers, Bundy.
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Reply By: setsujoku - Sunday, Jan 20, 2013 at 17:02

Sunday, Jan 20, 2013 at 17:02
Thanks for the interesting article, yet again.
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