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10 January 1912 Thomas Hardy

 10 January 1912     Thomas Hardy

Winemaker Thomas Hardy died on 10 January 1912.

Thomas Hardy had come a long way since he arrived in the colony in August 1850, at the age of 20, with the intention of having a business of his own. At first he worked for John Reynell, from whom he learnt something of viticulture, and then spent 18 months at the Victorian goldfields. In 1854 he bought his first property on the banks of the Torrens at Thebarton. He called it 'Bankside' and planted fruit trees and vines, mainly for dried fruit. He did make some wine and his first vintage there was in 1857.

As the business grew, and his reputation as a winemaker increased, Hardy added more land to his holding. In 1876 he took over the Tintara vineyards at McLaren Vale. This winery was established by a group of Adelaide businessmen under the management of Dr Kelly, but due to some bad decisions the company went into liquidation. Hardy saw the opportunity and was able to revitalise the winery.

The old Bankside cellars were destroyed by fire in October 1905 and were not rebuilt. Instead new premises were constructed at the Mile End Cellars. Over the years more vineyards were added to the Hardy properties so that by the 1970s the family company had interests in all the major wine producing areas in the State as well as two vineyards in Western Australia and interests in the Hunter Valley of NSW.

Rosemary Burden, A Family Tradition in Fine Winemaking,  Thomas Hardy & Sons, 1978.

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