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Jean Moyle, talented historian & artist

Updated: Mar 11

(With assistance of the Auburn National Trust)

'C.J. Dennis' benefactor

In 1975 Jean Moyle gave $1000 to the C.J. Dennis Homes for the Aged, at Auburn,

now Gilbert Valley Senior Citizens Homes Inc - Riverton. Read more:

Jean Moyle, nee Castine, was the third daughter of the Watervale E.W. Castine family. Her father, land valuer and trader, Ernest Castine brought electricity to the Clare Valley and later was elected MLC.

Jean was born at Watervale and educated at Watervale school and at Knightsbridge school, Adelaide, where "there were no uniforms, and no sport of the organised type of today."

Jean grew up at Penobscot, the Castine homestead and farm, at Watervale.

The family were great friends and relatives with the Sobels family living nearby at Spring Vale homestead and winery.

Penobscot, the Castine homestead and farm, at Watervale

After his first wife Selma passed away, Ernest Castine, aged 53 in 1923, took his younger three unmarried children Jack 21, Jean 19, and Molly 17, his sister Gert 45, and father John William 77, on a trip to Cornwall England, then home via Paris and the town of Castine in Maine, USA.

Ernest married again, his 2nd wife Ena, while in Yorkshire on that trip to England.

                     (Read more: Clare Museum|Auburn Historian Col. J.W. Castine

Jean visited Sydney with friends as early as May 1925.

"Miss Jean Castine, of Adelaide, S.A., gave an afternoon tea party to some of her friends in Sydney. The guests included, Miss Lorna Castine, Miss Phil Leschen, Miss Audrey Wilson, and Miss Joy Wilson.

Miss Daisy Doolan, wearing a navy kasha frock, entertained at a table decorated with a basket of chrysanthemums and maidenhair fern."

Mrs. Castine Entertains
The Forester's Hall, Watervale

Jean gained a little publicity with the 21st birthday of her little sister Molly Castine (Sep 1927), when Mr. and Mrs. E. W. Castine entertained a number of guests at a delightful dance held in the Foresters' Hall, Watervale. A marquee was used as a supper room, and when the guests were seated at supper Miss Molly Castine blew out the 21 candles and cut the cake.

"Miss Jean Castine wore mauve taffeta."

Jean began showing her roses at Auburn in November 1927, and started showing her prize roses in Adelaide in Nov. 1929 at the  FIRST ROSE SHOW OF THE REVIVED ROSE SOCIETY.

Jean had her own 'Evenings' five years later:

Thursday 24 March 1932: Mesdames Vemon Sobels and Jack Angus were joint hostesses at a party given in honor of Miss Jean Castine, whose marriage with Mr. Leslie Moyle, of Watervale, will take place early in April. The party was held at Springvale.

Eddie Burgess, of Gawler and with Les Moyle of Watervale, marshall of the pruning competition, July 1971


An evening was tendered to Miss Jean Castine in the Foresters' Hall on the eve of her approaching marriage (to Mr Leslie Moyle, illustrated left, RHS).

Miss Castine has been member of the golf and tennis clubs and has been associated with St. Mary's Church, the Red Cross Society, the Watervale Institute, as well as being district commissioner of the Girl Guides, and captain of the local company of Guides.

A competition was won by Miss W. Moyle and Mr Leslie Moyle (fiancee).

For dancing, music was supplied by Mrs. O. C. Sobels (on the piano).


St. Mary's Church, Watervale
April 2 1932 at Watervale:

On April 2, at St. Mary's Church, Watervale, the marriage was solemnised by the Rev. H. H. Dyson, of Gawler, assisted by Rev. B. H. Pearman, of Auburn, of Jean Vincent, third daughter of Mr. E. W. Castine and the late Mrs. Castine, of 'Penobscot,' Watervale. to Leslie James, elder son of Mr. J. L. Moyle, of 'The Sheoaks', Watervale. 

They subsequently moved into the 'Fairfield' homestead and farm near Penwortham.

Wildflowers watercolour copyright by Jean Moyle

Tribute: After her marriage Mrs. Moyle was a regular exhibitor of cut flowers and arrangements in the Royal Adelaide Show, as well as at country shows. In later years she became a regular judge of flowers at these shows.

The garden at "Fairfield", her home at Watervale, was the scene of many charitable garden parties.

As a young girl Jean Moyle studied and painted wildflowers and in recent years she successfully exhibited her work at Watervale, Rigby's Gallery in Adelaide and at the Quorn Gallery.

Many people owe their knowledge of wildflowers to her ability to share her enthusiasm of this subject.

- Tribute to Jean Moyle, Northern Argus 20 Apr 1983 p.8


-Book Two - Quelltaler - A history of H. Buring & Sobels Ltd. - Contents - Precis -

Book One - "Watervale"

Twenty years after marriage Jean published her first manuscript, reviewed here...

(Note: this book may be viewed at the S.A. State Library, and the Mt. Horrocks Library)

"History Of Watervale - Portrait of a Village" by Jean V. Moyle.

This 54-page history of Watervale and the nearby settlements of Penwortham and Leasingham, some 78 miles north of Adelaide, was awarded first prize in the Jubilee Local History Competition of 1951 (probably of £500).

"The story, dating back to 1839, may not be particularly exciting, but it recalls the activities of several well-known explorers after whom landmarks of the district are named, and may entice the traveller to pause and seek points of interest hidden by the orchards and the vines.

Above: The title page - the green cover says Watervale 1839-1951 instead
  • For instance, in the century-old St. Mark's Church, Penwortham, there is a tablet to the memory of J. A. Horrocks, who named the village after his -home in England, and from whose beginnings Watervale sprang.

  • Besides a Government school, Watervale in 1863 had the £4,000 Stanley Grammar School, in which dining room table tops were made from polished slate slabs from the Mintaro quarry. The school was closed in 1904 and the building was sold a few years ago.

  • First vines in the district were planted in 1858.

  • Sir Walter Watson Hughes, founder of the Adelaide University, once owned the well-known property, 'Spring Vale,' which is now the winery of Buring and Sobels. The fermentation tanks are made from huge cut slabs of slate instead of concrete.

  • The Stanley Arms, now the Watervale Hotel, is 100 years old.

  • The only place in SA where the red variety of stringy bark, known as eucalyptus macrorrhyncha, grows, is in a belt on a range near Watervale."

(It is a safe assumption that the Jubilee prize of £500 allowed Jean to publish this book, printed by the Advertiser, "Portrait of a Village, Watervale 1839 - 1951" which is still in copyright to her family in Auburn.)


This Portrait of a Village is divided into Six Parts: Here are some highlights:

First Part - The Explorers

Pages 1 - 6

Here we learn that the first explorer of the area was named Hill, and he named the Wakefield, Hutt and Hill Rivers. This Mr. Hill was a friend of explorer Edward John Eyre who first brought cattle to S.A. from N.S.W. along the River Murray.

Explorer & settler John Ainsworth Horrocks

"I can only imagine how lovely it would be, so long ago, unspoiled by axe or saw, by cattle, sheep or rabbits. Hills were heavily timbered with eucalypts, and gentle slopes covered with sheoak, native pine, banksia and wild cherry. Wattle and Christmas bush and prickly acacia made dense growth, and all kinds of wildflowers grew in the shade."

The story then begins of explorer young John Ainsworth Horrocks, described as "remarkably brave, tall (standing 6 feet 3 inches), strong, active and affectionate, deeply religious and most upright in character - a leader in sport and fond of life in the open."

"One of Admiral Hawker's sons was a favourite of Horrocks, and soon three Hawker sons were settled on land in the district some miles further north, Horrocks lending tools, cart, horses, etc., to make their start. ... John Horrocks will ever live in memory as one of the noblest specimens, both in mind and body, of the human species."

"It was from the Horrocks settlement that Watervale started."

Second Part - Settlement Begins

Pages 7 - 19

"As our first settler came Reuben Solly, and 1845 there came Mr. and Mrs. Wheller and daughter Anne... Wheller died in 1854, and later Mrs. Wheller became the wife of Reuben Solly."

"On 'Watervale Farm' were planted a patch of vines from cuttings given to Mrs. Solly by Father Krenewitter, of Seven Hills College, the vines of the college having been raised from cuttings given by Mr. Hawker of Bungaree."

David Davies arrived in 1840 as manager for Clare's E.B. Gleeson, of Inchiquin. Later he bought "Dalor" ('the best field') and the land which became the township of Watervale.

Captain Walter Watson Hughes bought the land inherited by John Green from J.A. Horrocks. Hughes was often a guest of David Davies while Hughes' house 'The Peak' was being built.

"In 1845 ... a rich copper mine was discovered at Burra, .... and the only means of transport

was by bullock dray, carrying two to three tons of ore. For three months, 5,300 tons of copper ore was sent to Port Adelaide by bullock dray, sometimes as many as 110 unloading in one day.

The Burra Monster Mine in 1870 showing horses driving machinery

Horses were used to drive the machinery at the mine, and they, with the bullocks, had to be fed. Much hay was bought from Mr. Solly at Penwortham ... As the number of horses at work on the mines was now over 70, and increasing, it meant fully 300 tons of hay per year were required, besides bran and wheat. Clare, Watervale and Auburn supplied most of this."

"This constant carting of wood, wheat and hay explains why the roads skirting the foot of Mount Horrocks were so much in use...

The attractive little valley known as Watervale appealed to many, and soon cottages sprang up in all directions."

Jean Moyle also discusses Francis Treloar and Watervale cemetery, and the formation of Leasingham, lists its residents, and recounts the history of the Ashton family, after the death of William Ashton (Ashton's Gaol/Hotel). Then she recounts how German settlers planted the first vines at "Marella" and "this stream of grape juice was to become the life stream of Watervale itself."

The Watervale Cole school in RHS chapel built 1855

The last section of this 'Part' deals with the arrival of highly educated Joseph Stear Carlyon Cole in S.A., whom Joseph Bleechmore set in charge of Auburn School, but Cole quit to teach at Pulteney Street Grammar School for a few months, and then returned to Watervale to start a school in the first Watervale Bible Christian chapel, erected 1855.

In 1861 the new Watervale government school opened with Cole as its first headmaster. Then in 1863 he started building the Stanley Grammar School next door.

Third Part - Academic Beginnings

Pages 20 - 26

While opening with the history of the Stanley Grammar School, most of this 'Part' deals with the development of businesses and election of Parliamentarians.

"Watervale has .. been able to play quite an important part in the political history of South Australia, and helped to create some fine politicians:

All had been members of the Liberal Party."

After discussing the police needs of Watervale, the author details the prominence of Captain Hughes in Watervale's story.

"He bought "Dalore" and Green's gardens, now known to us as "Hughes Park". As well he bought "Spring Vale" and the property "Fairfield" in Penwortham." (the author's home). John Duncan was responsible for the planning and development of the whole (Hughes Park) place, as it is now (1951).

Sir John Duncan opened up a well at the "Peak" on the westerly side of Hughes Park, and, with the construction of a reservoir and a reticulation scheme, enabled settlers on the westerly dry areas at Hoyleton and Halburty to receive a much-needed water supply."


Jean Moyle's grandfather Colonel J. W. Castine wrote in 1935:

"Not far distant from 'Hughes Park' on the western hillside known as 'the Peake', (an early Hughes residence) was a splendid well of water It occurred to (Duncan) that if the well were enlarged and the spring opened up, sufficient water would be available to meet the wants of the settlers.

Halbury: Plaque commemorating 150 yr Jubilee of Gulf Road

A scheme was submitted to the South Australian Government and approved.

Two 12-ft. drives were made from the bottom of the well, resulting in a continuous daily supply of from 20,000 to 30,000 gallons being obtained.

The water was siphoned into a large reservoir known as Tiller's Dam, several miles distant. En route were several standpipes for the convenience of the settlers.

From Tiller's Dam pipes were laid on to what was then known as Shrubsole's Corner, near the town of Halbury, and water was reticulated in many directions.

The generous contributor to this water scheme will not be forgotten by many of the old residents, who declared at the time that the previous want of a supply had almost led to their holdings being abandoned." - Chapter IV. Watervale And Penwortham


"Of six Duncan children, only two were born at Watervale, John and Walter ... later to become Sir Walter Duncan, M.P. and president of the Legislative Council of S.A."

Sir Walter Gordon Duncan MLC

In 1918, as a Coalitionist, Walter Duncan was returned to the Legislative Council as a member for Midland, the district which his father had represented in 1900 - 1913. Ability, and an electoral system that favoured rural property owners, kept him there for forty-four years.

An astute, practical and likeable man, Duncan emerged as a major figure in the State's commercial, agricultural and political life.

He was a director (1922-62) of Broken Hill Proprietary Co. Ltd and, with Harold Darling, was one of Essington Lewis's closest friends; all three crossed the continent from Adelaide to Darwin by train and car in 1924.

South Australia's industrial development at Whyalla owed much to Duncan's influence in B.H.P. and Australian Iron & Steel Pty. Ltd.

A source of personal and professional satisfaction to Duncan was his long association with the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia.

As president in 1924-25 (and also in 1932-1950) he oversaw the move from North Terrace to the Wayville showgrounds; much of the new venture's success was due to his efforts. In 1939 he was knighted.

Fourth Part - Early Winemaking

Pages 27 - 32

"It was in 1863 that "Spring Vale" was acquired. Here, two years later, Capt. Hughes planted 50 acres of vines. In 1868 the first wine cellar was built, and Capt. Hughes applied for a manager.

From four applicants Mr. C.A. Sobels of Tanunda was chosen."

"Vineyards and wineries form one of the best scenic aspects of South Australia, and Watervale and Spring Vale vineyards are no exceptions. On the hilly country of the district they form an old-world picturre of fertile soil and intense cultivation."

Jean Moyle discusses the Sobels' contribution to Watervale and district.

-- (Jean has authored a history of their Quelltaler winery, please read on for the details) --

"The "Spring Vale" house was rebuilt into an attractive and modern dwelling in 1940. This winery, which was growing rapidly, employs many of Watervale's town people" (1951).


Mr. Carl August Sobels, was one of the best-known figures in the wine industry in South Australia for many year. Mr Sobels was born at Quedlinburg, Hanover, and when ten years of age arrived in South Australia with his parents in 1818.

His father was a practical wine maker, having studied the industry in Europe. The family settled in the Tanunda district, and Mr. Sobels, snr was the first to enter into wine making in that part.

He carried on business there for a number of years and at his death, in 1863 was succeeded by Mr. Carl Sobels, who from his boyhood had acquired a thorough knowledge of wine and vine culture.

He was acknowledged to be one of the most expert winemakers in Australia. In1868 he was connected with the business of Mr J M Richman, for who he acted as winemaker, the well known Spring Vale wines then being manufactured by Mr Sobels.


"Mr. E. W. Castine, (Jean's father) born and living in Auburn, and married to Selma, eldest child of Mr. and Mrs. C.A. Sobels, also bought from James Richman the property "Fairfield" (Jean's adult home) and from Charles Solly the land known as "Marella" and "Lynch's", and the target paddock."

"The Watervale property he named "Penobscot" after the bay in Maine, U.S.A., on which the town of Castine is situated."

"He married Ena, daughter of Rev. Warren, Sheffield U.K. in 1923.

He was an excellent judge of sheep and cattle, and was for many years buyer and inspector of stock for Sir Sidney Kidman... During World War I he was stock buyer and inspector for the Government of South Australia."

Fifth Part - Trade and Commerce

Pages 33 - 43

Jean discusses the Foresters' Hall, built in 1872, and its achievements, and the Court Bushmen's Home.

"Mr. Shepherd, who built the Foresters' Hall, built his own home 1853. This property, "The Sheoaks", was bought by Charles Solly, and later by Richard Dunstan, of Leasingham, and in 1923 Walter Moyle became the owner. He retains the "Sheoaks" which has vineyards, grazing and a dairy farm.

Son Leslie, married to Jean (the author), third daughter of E. W. Castine, has been living for 20 years at "Fairfield"."

"The Post Office was built in 1882... Watervale at this time had 70 houses and a population of 327. Communication with Adelaide was coach to Saddleworth and then train twice daily."

Jean also discusses the history of butchering in Watervale. In particular, she admired the work of George Merrett, who gave house-to-house service with cart, driving a spanking pair (of horses).

"Watervale had a flourishing rifle club in 1881. I think the shooting range was the first in the district. Even the ladies had their shots at the target.... The rifle club has remained active up to the present, but I have it on good authority that it no longer has lady members. Ladies! Have we become timid with the march of progress? I fear so."

Jean Moyle discusses Mrs. Perry and Mrs. Glendeming's cottages. Then, in discussing the Grace family, she mentions that the farm known as "Kadlunga" was owned by the Copper Company. She also mentions Chris Johnson who became an Engineer in the Water Supply Department in 1913, and became resident engineer at the Murray River locks he built.

"In 1945 the Burgess brothers and the Sobels bought some 400 acres of the late Richard Dunstan Estate, Leasingham, with the idea of planting this land with vines.... On this property a system of contour banking was carried out by Mr. Beare, assistant soil conservator (of the Watervale Agricultural Bureau)."

This Part concludes with a description of the building and worship at St Mary's Church.

Sixth Part - A Growing Civic Interest...

Pages 44 - 54

In 1910 Mr John Pope established an apiary in the district, now with a factory at Penwortham.

"This has become an industry of which Watervale is justly proud. Honey goes everywhere."

"The Watervale Institute was opened in 1915 by Mrs. C. A. Sobels... The year 1918 saw the completion of the railway line from Riverton to Clare (via Watervale)."

"Electric light came to Watervale in 1925. It was supplied by the Mid-Northern Electricity Company of Clare, of which Hon. E.W. Castine (Jean's father) was a director and original shareholder. E.T.S.A. took over this company in 1948."

"Watervale residents have been and are noted for their love of trees."

"The first street trees were Tasmanian Gums and pepper trees. The gum trees outgrew their period of usefulness and were removed, and the street replanted with American Ash in 1926."

"The Watervale Red Cross Branch was started in 1914... Mrs. E. W. Castine was president for 16 years, the longest term of office held by any president."

"The year 1927 saw the formation of a Girl Guide Company with Jean Castine as captain."

"A magnificent golf course is laid out on Castine property known as "Lynch's."

Beautiful yellow brown white color spider orchid flowers

"There is no bowling club, but I feel I must mention that E. W. Castine, a bowler of Clare Club, ... was successful in winning the open bowls championship for pairs (in a bowling tournament at Hastings, U.K.)

"Wildflowers are to be found in the hills in the shade of eucalypts and shrubs.... There are many orchids - brown-white and blue spiders, cowslips and donkey-pears, spotted tails and green-hoods, and many others, but they are shy and must be sought".

"Yes, Watervale is indeed a pretty little village, but with a big heart."

"The foundation of this story was laid many years ago when I called on the late Mr. Frank Treloar, who told me much of the early history of Watervale, and gave me a copy of his informative little book, "The Burra Mine."

"I hope you have as much pleasure in reading the story as I have enjoyed in compiling it."

Jean V. Moyle

Fine Booklet by Watervale Writer.

[By 'Clarion.']

THERE comes to us this week a review copy of a booklet entitled 'Portrait of a Village' by Jean V. Moyle of Watervale. Frontpiece cover takes the form of a Road Map, with Watervale the central focus for the surrounding areas of Penwortham, Leasingham and Auburn.

As a factual record of historical significance 1839 to 1951, it is a worthy and worthwhile contribution to the all too little recorded history of the pioneering days which many other centres could well emulate.

The author, with facile pen, has been to much trouble, and with sentimental care and exactitude, successfully elaborated a factual canvas with the pioneering elements that have formed part and parcel of the life and work, not only of the first settlers and pioneers, but of the spirit of progress, hardships, trials, tribulations and ultimate successes of succeeding generations.

To accomplish this the author had to have access to records net only of the Archives Dept., but the elaboration of pioneer descendants and the scrap heap of sentiment and anecdote handed down from generation to generation.

To dovetail all these items in their special sequence has undoubtedly been a task involving many years of research, careful analysis and winnowing of the grain from the chaff, so that posterity would have a complete and historical record and inspiration for all the years ahead. The span passes in kalaedioscopic array from 1839 down to to-day, embracing a period of 113 years.

Posterity will be the richer for the self-sacrificing work of the Watervale historian, Jean V. Moyle.

The story commences with the finding and naming of the Wakefield, Hutt and Hill Rivers in the time of Edward John Eyre, the first white man to pass this way in 1839.

Threads of the warp and weft of the pattern unfold with life at early Penwortham when settlement begins.

Subsequent history expands upon the founding of Watervale, its early settlement and taking up of 80 acre sections.

The author expands upon the life of early Leasingham and intimate pen descriptions about the establishment of Auburn.

Interspersed between the various chapters are glowing descriptions of the personal magnetism of the early settlers and the story unfolds its way in each settlement with pen sketches of many family groups.

Hardly one family in the whole of the areas of Watervale, Penwortham, Leasingham and Auburn, has been left out — a mammoth task, told with clarity and factual exactitude that should commend the book to people in all walks of life and to Watervale folk and descendants wherever domiciled.

Lives of famous men and women over the 113 years grace its pages. The cultural educational background of the Stanley Grammer School has forever made the name of Watervale famous.

Men of Science, Art, literature and the professions pass in grand array.

Perhaps nowhere else in- the Commonwealth has such a small area produced so many giants of intellect and promise in the world of Political endeavor and Parliamentary representation.

Tales of the first doctor; the first Steeplechase; the early wine-making; the academic beginning; census of population; houses of 1872 and today; all lend charm and dignity to as brave an epic of Australian colonization and ultimate progress and success as you could wish to read.

It is not for me to tell you here the ultimate story enfolded in its pages. Classification and piece-meal selection of individual lifework from pioneer days onward would only lead to criticism as being preferential.

It is for you to read Jean Moyle's epic of the 113 years of Watervale. Copies can be obtained in Clare from Mr. Alx. H. Ness News Agency and Fancy Goods Store.

A copy should find a place in every book-shelf, particularly Mid-Northern areas, where the drama of life unfolded itself and is faithfully recorded for your delectation by the author, herself a Watervale citizen.


The 150th Anniversary of Watervale was marked by another small history,

"Watervale - The Village amongst the Vines". by Geraldine Pearce and Elizabeth Hadley, subtitled "prelude: Watervale 150 years the home of the laughing vines".

Interestingly, this 'prelude' of 1997 then spends eleven pages on the history of Quelltaler winery at Spring Vale.


This is 30 years after Quelltaler published its own history:

"A history of H. Buring & Sobels Ltd", and we know the text was written by Jean Moyle.

Jean Moyle was also the author of three wine biographies at the

  1. Buring, Theodor Gustav Hermann (1846–1919) store-keeper and vigneron and a biography in 1981 of the founder of Stanley Grammar School:

  2. Cole, Joseph Stear Carlyon (1832–1916) schoolmaster

Book Two - Quelltaler
A history of H. Buring & Sobels Ltd.

1,000 copies published 1967 - Copyright - Privately Printed for H. Buring & Sobels Ltd.

46 pages, heavily illustrated with monochrome photographs

You may view a copy at the State Library of S.A.

(Jean Moyle is not identified as the author, but reading the academic biographies mentioned above will leave you in no doubt !)


Chapter 1 Arrival of the Sobels family in South Australia in 1847 p.11

Chapter 2 The Origin of 'Quellthal' p.13

Chapter 3 Arrival of the Buring family in South Australia in 1848 p.17

Chapter 4 A happy family life at Spring Vale p.18

Chapter 5 A partnership begins and a Trade Name is created p.21

Chapter 5 Steady progress and prosperity p.23

Chapter 7 Out of trouble--into success p.25

Chapter 8 And then war broke out p.27

Chapter 9 The pioneering of the Founders comes to an end p.28

Chapter 10 On the look-out for new markets p.31

Chapter 11 Completion of buildings in Springvale and acquisition

of Quelltaler House p.33

Chapter 12 Leo Buring rejoins the firm as is appointed

Managing Director p.35

Chapter 13 The advent of 'Granfiesta' p.37

Chapter 14 Another World War brings changes p.38

Chapter 15 A notable event in the State's viticultural history p.41

Chapter 15 A modernized Spring Vale p.45

  1. In the 1850s, Mr Carl Sobels produced the first wine in the Tanunda district In 1869 Carl successfully applied for the manager ship of the Spring Vale winery at Watervale, then owned by Captain Walter Watson Hughes.

  2. The name of Spring Vale was given to the holding when is was taken up by Francis Treloar in 1851, because of the many springs which welled in the area. Captain W.W. Hughes bought Spring Vale in 1863. The Sobels family moved into spacious Spring Vale house. The thriving winery of 117 acres, with cellars, casks, and wine, was bought for £9,000 in 1890 by the new partnership of H. Buring & Sobels.

  3. In 1848 Frederick Buring and family reach South Australia. In 1879 son Hermann Buring moved to Kent Town, opened a business in Pirie Street and continued distributing Spring Vale wines. In 1897 the business was moved to Unity Chambers, Currie Street.

  4. Carl Sobels was lovable, fun-loving, musical and devoted to his family. His wife Meta was the strength of the family, very hospitable and they entertained widely including Governors of the State. By 1890, they had thirteen children and their education was a problem. Four children attended Stanley Grammar School.

  5. The name 'Quelltaler' (Native of Spring Vale) became the firm's trademark. For two years from 1898, Leo Buring, second son of Hermann Buring became cellarman at Spring Vale.

  6. Herman Buring and Carl Sobels decided in 1910 to convert their growing partnership into a limited company. Rudi Buring, a talented draughtsman and artist became the first secretary of the company. He designed all the bottle labels for the company.

  7. Spring Vale has union trouble, and district members of the Liberal Union voluntarily assisted in the grape picking. A large vintage festival was held with a motto displaying "Alls Well That Ends Well". Spring Vale wines were most successful at Wine Shows.

  8. 1914 brings World War and a disastrous drought. A successful bore was sunk to 1613 feet at Spring Vale. They purchased the neighbouring property named "Prospect".

  9. In 1919 Hermann Buring died, and Carl Sobels retired, then aged 80. In 1922 horse and dray were replaced with a Ford truck. In 1925 electricity supply reached Spring Vale, and a dam on a southern creek allowed irrigation to proceed.

  10. The 1920s were years of boom until depression arrived in 1928-29.

  11. In 1932 the new Spring Vale building was completed for storage of wine. In 1934 the firm's Adelaide office was transferred to the freehold premises of Quelltaler house, regarded as one of the most interesting and attractive of Adelaide Buildings.

  12. Leo Buring progressed from cellarman at Spring Vale in 1900 to forming his own business in 1931. In 1934 his name was indelibly associated with the best in wine.

  13. Quelltaler's Granfiesta flor fino type of sherry, becomes a champion sherry in 1936, after years of experimental blending by Emil Sobels, who unfortunately died in 1936.

  14. In 1941 Emil Sobels' third son Larry became winemaker at the age of 26, and concentrated on lifting production and maintaining quality of Granfiesta sherry. There was a strong demand for Buring and Sobels wines by the British and United States armed forces.

  15. On 11 December 1945, three months after the end of the second World War, a Jubilee Luncheon was held at Quelltaler House which marked the 55th anniversary of the formation of the company. Late frosts in 1946 destroyed 40% of fruit buds, and grapes had to be obtained from the Riverland. Leo Buring resigned from the board due to ill-health. In 1961 a Flinders Street building was acquired as a storage centre for bottled wines.

  16. A new office and modern laboratory was built at Spring Vale in 1957. Leo Buring died in 1961 after a long illness. The firm celebrated its centenary with 300 guests at a barbecue in the grounds of Spring Vale,including 30 direct descendants of Carl and Meta Sobels.

Over the past seventy years a number of memorable wines have been released under the Leo Buring name. In 2002 the winery returned to its roots, making only Riesling 

Among the many personalities that have shaped the Australian wine industry over the past 150 years one name stands pre-eminent, Leo Buring. Hermann Paul Leopold Buring was a highly skilled winemaker and is often described as Australia's Ambassador for Wine because he was one of the first to export Australian wine to many countries as far back as the early 1900s.

Buring graduated as Dux from the Oenology course at Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1896. He then gained practical experience in Europe before settling back in Australia at Minchinbury in 1902. Four years later, his wines earned 6 gold medals at The Brewers and Wine Exhibition in London.

Over the years, Leo Buring established an international reputation as Australia's foremost maker of Riesling.

Buring finally achieved his dream at the age of 68 when he bought the Orange Grove Winery at Tanunda, in the Barossa Valley, which he re-named to Chateau Leonay. It became the label of Buring's flagship wine, combining intense fruit flavours with great elegance, and to this day is arguably Australia's pre-eminent Riesling.

Buring's influence in introducing Australia to table wine has been far reaching. His influence on the industry, ranging from technical advice to government reports, resulted in many improvements to Australian viticulture and viniculture. Acclaimed wine critic and judge, James Halliday, once described Leo Buring as, "the greatest maker of Rhine Riesling in Australia" and Australia's foremost producer of Rieslings over a 30-year period!"

Book 3 - 'The Wakefield, Its Water and Its Wealth'

Published by Jean V. Moyle, 1975, paperback 192 pages

This book may be viewed at the S.A. State Library, and the Clare History Room.


"26 Oct. 1975: