John Reynell

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John Reynell.

John Reynell (1809 – 15 June 1873) was a South Australian winemaker.

Reynell was born in 1809 from a Devonshire farming family. Accompanied by his cousin Samuel Reynell (c. 1818–1892),[1] he arrived in South Australia in October 1838 aboard Surrey and established his property about 20 kilometres south of the main settlement of Adelaide in the area that became known as McLaren Vale.

Reynell is thought to have established the first commercial vineyard and winery in South Australia by planting vine cuttings in 1839 that he had bought at the Cape of Good Hope. Reynell employed a young man named Thomas Hardy (who also became a famed winemaker) to help him to tend to the vineyards. They became the largest wine producers in the McLaren Vale region. The first vintage was produced in 1842 and he built the Old Cave cellar in 1845. The cellar survives to the present day.

He exported claret and burgundy to New Zealand. Reynell was also a foundation member of the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia.

On 31 January 1839 Reynell married Mary Lucas and they had a daughter Lucy Reynell (1842–1921), who would marry Ross T. Reid of Gawler, and a son Walter Reynell (1846–1919) who married Emily Bakewell (1851–1887), a daughter of William Bakewell MP; their daughter Gladys Reynell would become one of Australia's earliest studio potters.

In 1854, Reynell sold some farm land to create the town of Reynella, which has now become the Adelaide suburb of Old Reynella. The South Australian electoral district of Reynell, which includes the suburbs of Reynella, Old Reynella (now a part of the electoral district Mitchell) and Reynella East, was also named after him.


  • 1838, 16 October Arrived aboard the sailing ship Surry, 29 years of age.
  • 1838, Oct/Nov – Planted first vine cuttings for source stock on banks of Field River at Surryville.
  • 1839, 31 January – married Mary Lucas at Holy Trinity Church, North Terrace, Adelaide.
  • 1839, 12 March – Acquired his land selection, Section 524 in Hurtle Vale and called it Reynella Farm.
  • 1839, Transferred rooted vine cuttings from Surryville to Reynella Farm, establishment of Stony Hill Vineyard, first vineyard for commercial winemaking in South Australia.
  • 1839, Became one of the foundation members of what is now the Royal Agriculture and Horticulture Society.
  • 1840, May – John and Mary moved into the first home on banks of Panalatinga Creek, Reynella Farm.
  • 1842, Built and moved into second home on land – section 538 – opposite original holding (current site of existing winery complex). The cottage structure is still evident as the northern wing of the existing homestead.
  • 1845, dug Cellar Number 1, commonly known as the Old Cave – this was one of Australia's first underground wine cellars.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "General News". Adelaide Observer. XLIX, (2623). South Australia. 9 January 1892. p. 29. Retrieved 7 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 

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