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Joseph Seppelt died at Seppeltsfield on 29 January 1868.


29 January 1868   Joseph Seppelt

Joseph Seppelt died at Seppeltsfield on 29 January 1868.

Seppelt left Silesia in September 1849 and arrived in South Australia in January 1850 where the family joined other Germans at Klemzig. At first he tried to grow tobacco on his 80 acre section of land at Golden Grove, but found it was not suitable. He turned his attention to the Barossa Valley where he bought two country sections and prepared the land for tobacco and wheat, but because the tobacco grew too prolifically the leaf was too rank for use in tobacco and snuff. So the enterprising Seppelt decided to plant vines, using his wheat production for his first income. While many early winemakers produced a fairly rough wine Seppelt took time to mature his win, and the liqueurs which he distilled. 

Seppeltsfield grew steadily and in the late 1860s he decided on an ambitious building program which included maturing cellars and fermenting tanks of Mintaro slate. With his son Benno, at 21, taking an equal share in the running of the winery, Joseph decided to retire, but shortly after, in the late summer of 1868, he caught a chill and within 24 hours was dead. Benno took over at a time when the wine market was depressed, but he had confidence and continued to expand, after smaller vineyards had failed. Later Seppelts moved into Victoria, to Rutherglen, and in 1918 bought the Great Western Champagne cellars. Seppelts is now a subsidiary of Southcorp Holdings Ltd.

The House of Seppelt 1851-1951, Adelaide, 1951

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