Make Old Reynella Grape Again

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In 1838 John Reynell came out to South Australia and established Reynella farm in 1839 and it sits the heart of Adelaide’s southern plains. His forgotten legacy changed the landscape in South Australia. John Reynell sourced his first vine cuttings from Tasmania and planted SA’s first commercial vineyard. People still think the first lot of wine produced in SA was either made in McLaren Vale or the Barossa Valley, yet it was created at Reynella Farm in 1842. John Reynell’s first vintage, shaped SA’s internationally recognised wine industry and impacted local wine producers. Within 1854 John Reynell drafted a notice sale portion of his Reynella farm to inaugurate a township, Reynella which lead to the later 20th century establishment of Reynella, Old Reynella, Reynella East.

Back in the 1980’s, as the demand for land grew half of the wineries in the Reynella region where wiped out and replaced with housing estates. The historic echoes of these important vineyards still linger in the ground below. In the south of Adelaide, the township founder, John Reynell’s name is everywhere from Reynella East, educational institution to Reynell Road, to Old Reynella, and various places in between there is even a TAFE restaurant and apark reserve named after him.

Tarac technology  in 2017, finalised their purchased of the old Hardy’s /Accolade Reynella winery site. Local citizens of Reynella and its greater suburb areas are, highly concerned about the takeover and plan for the purposed housing estate and shopping centre district on the vineyard. The winery spans over 32 hectares. Even though the site hasn’t crushed grapes since the 1980’s, it is still possible to ignite the wine making again and allow for wine manufacturing to become a primary industry for Old Reynella.

If the planning zone is changed by local and state governmental bodies to allow Tarac Technology plans to go through, Old Reynella’s vineyard heartland would be stripped bare. Thus, leaving Old Reynella and surrounding suburbs without its old world cultural, and agricultural identity.  It angered a lot of residents that Tarac Technology wasn’t continuing this unique vineyard enterprise or wine making facility.

A similar issue happened a few years ago, when Accolade sold off the original vineyard block John Reynell planted in 1841, to a housing developer. They were ripped up in 2010, and only a few sq. metres where left as a dedication to John Reynell. Onkaparinga council hasn’t looked after those vines and they are generally left wasted during the summer months and not being properly looked after.  Where the old vines are, is now medium density housing. Onkaparinga council allowed for this tragedy to occur, and disregarded people’s plights in 2010. 

There aren’t many wineries left in the greater region of Reynella except for Mount Hurtle winery and Horndale Winery. These two wineries are the last two standing beside the old Hardy’s /Accolade Reynella winery site.  Local residents don’t want to see this unique icon lost, they would prefer the site’s vineyard and historical buildings saved and state heritage and UNESCO world heritage protected and listed on the basis of John Reynell’s legacy.  A lot of the local businesses are concerned that the development and shopping centre would impact their trade and decrease annual profits from their businesses.

The idea to create more jobs is stealing jobs away from the Old Reynella district and relocating primary trade away from its main community hub.

 Nonetheless the land of Reynella winery is the heart, the soul of Old Reynella Township. Consequently, the surrounding suburbs would lose its darling little symbolization.  There is a reason why the local football team is called the Wine Flies, it was named after the great past and present vineyards of Reynella. The same philosophies apply to the Vines Markets at the Old Reynella memorial Hall, they celebrate the old townships wine history by using grape vines as their business advertising logo. Wine runs within the Old Reynella residents’ veins. This is something no one has ever forgotten about.

People of old Reynella and Reynella, Reynella East like shopping at their local Old Reynella shopping center, because they have a fantastic personalized experience with the local business owners. Everyone knows everybody and love speaking to fellow residents at the shopping centre and love communicating with them, it is a real family orientated neighbourhood.  By taking that away, and advertising a new development 900 metres away, Old Reynella would slowly feel the strain and die out.

The local community is doing everything they can to stop this development from going ahead. Onkaparinga council and the state government don’t completely understand, they would end up stripping away the historical content of the Old Reynella Region. Subsequently the site could be transformed into critical historical centre out of the old homestead, a new farmers market place in the old warehouses and wine making school with the current vineyard to remain intact. Consequently, the site has quick easy access to the McLaren vale wine region and is a perfect location for wine making.

 Why do I care about Hardy’s/ Accolade site?

For my entire life I have lived in the local area near Old Reynella and I got fed up by how the winery is being mismanaged.

Back in 2000 my parents drove me to my six-birthday party, I saw the last part of the crew fields vine yard being taken away by a bull dozer.

it was a cold wet rainy Saturday afternoon and I saw the in the field diggers, and I knew it was coming. Like instant coffee being poured into a cup, I saw a row of vines gone within a few seconds, it severely broke my heart. I vowed from that day on, I would to anything to protect the original winery site, from any further endangerment.  It was one of the reasons why I choose to study a Bachelor Architecture Design, because I wanted to gain a better scope on how to safeguard historical architectural sites. This site really needs to be saved because it is highly valuable and not replaceable. People say a winery is just a vineyard, it can always be replaced by housing.  In this case a winery isn’t always a winery it is a State wine landmark, which needs proper protection. So, I urge people from all walks of life in the Onkaparinga area and all around the State to, sign this petition.

Please help save the original place where South Australian wine began.  

Let’s Make Old Reynella Grape Again!



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