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16 October 1838 John Reynell

 16 October 1838        John Reynell

John Reynell, who arrived in South Australia on 16 October 1838, is best remembered as a viticulturist although he began his life in the colony as a pastoralist. He was 29 years old when he came after living for some years in Egypt. He settled near the Onkaparinga River and started a dairy but soon was running sheep as well. In fact he had a mixed farm for he grew wheat and planted potatoes and vines. His enterprise in all these areas began to pay well but the financial crisis in the colony in 1841/42, when the bank bills became worthless, forced him into insolvency. About 1852 he went to the Victorian gold diggings and won a little gold. John’s brother, Alfred, looked after his Reynella interests while he was away and it was his son, Walter, who developed the wine business in later years and re-established the family finances. John Reynell died on 15 June 1873 but his name, perpetuated in the township of Reynella, will always be connected with the wines of the southern vales and the cellar he dug in the 1840s is still in use.

Rodney Cockburn, Pastoral Pioneers of South Australia, Volume II, pp.52-3.

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