Daily Wine News

««« return to Daily Wine News index


Australian Plonky is the autobiography of Ian Hickinbotham

In just fifty years, Australian winemakers had to progressively change from making 70% fortified wine to 90% table wine, and it was during this period that Ian Hickinbotham made his substantial contribution to the wine industry.

Analysis of an article from The Bulletin in 1984 discloses that Hickinbotham initiated and/ or made 24% of the Australian branded wines sold that year. In addition, he has been uniquely involved in the creation of the two great Australian wines, Coonawarra Estate Claret (Shiraz) and Penfolds Grange.

Hickinbotham introduced malo-lactic secondary fermentation to quality Australian winemaking when making the inaugural Coonawarra Estate Claret. A new method of making sparkling wine in the form of Sparkling Rinegolde was his outstanding commercial success, accomplished during his time at Kaiser Stuhl in the Barossa Valley – a brand he created. Ian Hickinbotham is also remembered for his invention of the transfer machine for making Champagne, the floating tank lid, and the introduction of hermetic centrifuges for clarifying sparkling wine.

In 1984 he initiated a process of packaging quality wines in 200 mL bottles for airlines using the Stelvin screw cap (of which some 800 000 a year were used). For this accomplishment he won prestigious awards for British Airways and Ansett.

This is Ian’s personal account of his remarkable fifty-year career.

Published by the University of Adelaide Barr Smith Press Sold online by Papinian Publishing www.papinian.com.au Available at the cellar door of Hickinbotham of Dromana $39.95 (plus post of $10 Australia-wide)

Seeley International


New Holland


Rowe Scientific


WID 2017