We are often asked how 919 Wines got its name.
When we first decided to make wine for ourselves we were looking for a name that described its origin. The French word “terroir” is a bit cliche, and, well, French. Totally unsuitable for something as Australian as our vineyard.
The wine writer Max Allen likes the word “pangkarra” (place), however this word is not universal amongst the Aboriginal languages. Besides, winemaking is a European tradition, not an Australian tradition, and we are uncomfortable appropriating an Australian word for something that has contributed so much to the destruction of Aboriginal society.
So we opened a bottle of wine and talked about it.
Should we use our name, Semmler? Not possible, there was already an Oscar Semler wines in the Barossa Valley.
The next night we tackled the question again. We needed inspiration, so we opened another bottle of wine.
Was there a distinguishing feature of our vineyard that was quintessentially Riverland? We have no creek, gully, river, mount, valley or plain. Time for another bottle of wine.
We were not big enough to be an Estate, and besides, Berri Estates and Mallee Estates were already in use by two other companies.
Over the next few weeks the debate raged. Every night we sat down, opened a bottle and continued the conversation.
One night, we opened yet another bottle of wine and went back to basics. How did we want to tell everyone that this was the place our wines came from? This vineyard? How about our geographic co-ordinates we wondered? 34 Degrees South, 143 Degrees East …
Yet another internet search revealed that Southcorp had registered 43 Degrees South as a trademark. Southcorp (now Treasury Wine) has got the resources of amazing marketers at its fingertips, so we could smell the solution in the air.
So, we sacrificed yet another bottle of wine…
Our address! Section 919 Hodges Rd Berri!