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25/02/2015

50-year milestone for bag-in-box

The bag-in-box has crammed a lot into its first 50 years in the wine industry. From the tricky stages of early development subsequent achievements in tap technology; to the roaring sales success of the 1980s; through changes in size and packaging to represent a more premium product. Chateau Carboard, this is your life. Nathan Gogoll reports.

One of Australia’s greatest inventions

“Before the 1960s, bulk wine was sold to the consumer in half-gallon (two-litre) glass flagons. The flagons broke easily and exposed wine to the air once they were opened, so the Australian wine industry began looking for a better alternative.

The credit for inventing the wine cask should be shared amongst a number of contributing wine companies. However, the first to market a cask was Angoves from Renmark in South Australia, led by Tom Angove in 1965. The initial version was a container with a four-litre inner sack that collapsed around the remaining wine as portions were withdrawn. It had a resealable plastic spout, allowing the wine to stay fresh for much longer than bottled wine.

The public responded positively to ‘booze in a bag’, which was economical and easy to carry around. The wine cask was further improved in 1967 when Penfolds, in association with Diemoulders, produced the Penfolds Table Cask. The improved version had a resealable tap instead of a spout. Some of the credit for developing the dispensing tap also goes to Wynss, who release their version of the wine cask in 1969.

The wine cask allowed people to buy larger quantities of wine at a time, save money on bulk purchase, and transport more wine easily. It introduced wine to a mass market and played a major role in the success of Australia’s wine industry.”

Snippet from Australia’s Greatest Inventions, by Lynda de Lacey

Importance to growers

With four generations of grape growing in his blood, Brenton Fenwick knows a thing or two about the wine industry.

Based in South Australia’s Riverland, grapes have been growing on the Fenwick family property for nearly 100 years with Brenton Fenwick carrying on the tradition from his father Anthoney, grandfather Frank and great-grandfather William.

His Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz go into making cask wine at one of the local wineries in the region, along with fruit on many neighbours. In the Riverland alone, more than 200,000 tonnes of fruit is sold each year through CCW Co-operative Limited, which represents 600 growers.

He says his family is a classic example of how the cask wine industry has a multi-generational storyline.

“We grew up with it – mum and dad always had a cask at home; they still do. It’s been a very important part of our family business for years, and that of a lot of the other families in the region,” Mr Fenwick said.

Log in to read the full article as published in the February 2015 Grapegrower and Winemaker magazine.

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