Pioneer Winemakers

Apparently, In 1998, the pioneer winemakers in our region got together in Coronation Hall, Bannockburn, for a social occasion, organised by Heather McPherson.

Heather insisted that they all had to contribute to the night’s entertainment by individual performances.

There was a great deal of reluctance to this instruction, but Heather insisted.

She has recently discovered this ode in her files, and we thought it would be fun to reproduce it, as a tribute to the brave people who initiated the wine industry In our area.


In days of old, when knights were bold
These barren hills were sluiced for gold of the shining nugget kind.
Today of course it’s changed a lot
And the guys are into wine.

The Beaton’s sold the family farm in 1989
The Olssen’s came a bought a bit And grapes grew on the vine,
But with the grapes came lots of trees and the landscape changed a bit
‘cos Edgar dug a hole or two and
we know what he thought of that.

The Dicey’s came Full Circle too,
and brought their SAM along,
And we had a potluck tea with Stu
Who sang to a different song.

Then, Bill and Shirley built a shack
in an old abandoned quarry,
And along with Steve and Barbara Green
Bought a tractor – not a lorry.

And Bill and Sue – from out of town,
A house have started on,
The turret will be a masterpiece
Of someone else’s song.

McAuley’s – a similar trick did play
Though it took hard work all night and day
The garden of course made sleeping a curse
But the new house is great,
And they’re proud fit to burst.

The Anderson’s came in ’92 – with Martin
Travelling from afar,
And with bonhomie and hot water too,
half the district get a spa.
Rudi of course he’d been before
But now he’s back again;
He’s brought SueEllen and Roman too,
And sparkling wine’s his game.

John and Barbara have landed here
From far away they flew,
And independence of this kind
Saw merino sheep there too.

Then Brady, for Bragato wrote
of industrial tycoons,
and the out-of-towner entrepreneurs
the Skeggs’s and the Elms

And all of this activity
might well be thought Slapjack
But rest assured this liquid gold
will put us on the map.

PS. Now Heather’s done a job on us
She’s set us up you know
Perform or else – but what the hell,
I guess we’ll enjoy the show.

John Olssen

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