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Cyril Henschke in his tasting room at Keyneton
, 1968

by Douglass Baglin

gelatin silver photograph

Johann (Christian) Henschke (1803-1873) was a wheelwright and left Prussia in 1840 settling in South Australia's Barossa. Twenty years later his son Paul Goddhardt put in the first vines. Cyril Henschke (1924-1979), grandson of Paul, was responsible for pioneering varietal table wines in Australia. He was the first person to make a dry white frontignac, and he made dry semillon and riesling as separate wines when 'varietals' didn't exist. In 1952 he began phasing out fortifieds, though initially he experienced some difficulty in finding a market. By the mid 1950s he was acknowledged as one of the leading pioneers in the Australian table wine industry. He was one of the first to produce single vineyard wines, as with now legendary wines such as Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2005
Accession number: 2005.58