“Out of the Blocks: Early History of Wynns Estate Coonawarra Vineyards” documents the stories of Wynns Coonawarra Estate and was written by a trio of authors – Sunday Mail Newspaper columnist Lainie Anderson, Wynns Viticulturist Allen Jenkins and Wynns Winemaker Sarah Pidgeon.
With reseach beginning in 2001, the novel celebrates the historic vineyard from its establishment in 1897 to the present.
Mr Jenkins also consulted the Childs, Stoney and Balnaves families, gaining access to hand-drawn maps of the early estates.
Lainie Anderson became involved in the project after being commissioned by Wynns’ Corporate Affairs Manager, Sue Rana.
She frequently visited the region and encouraged her peers in Adelaide to do the same. Ms Anderson also praised the Penola/Coonawarra contacts that she made, stating that “all the families were just so kind and generous” with their time.
Ms Anderson was also impressesd with the Penola Historical Centre, as it not only had a wealth of information, but the information was comprehensively indexed and accessible.
Sarah Pidgeon was the last author to come on board, and could offer a modern context for much of the historical information that had been found.
All three authors spent years collecting information and re-reading drafts, and were assisted by Sue Hodder, Don Messenger, Maria Weinberg, and Peter Balnaves.
Mr Balnaves officially opened the book launch, commenting on the wide arrange of ways in which Wynns economically and socially benefits the Limestone Coast.
“It’s hard to map your future if you don’t know where you come from,” Mr Balnaves concluded, before the descendants of the original families involved in Wynns were invited to purchase the book and have some afternoon tea.