Angove Family Winemakers is one of Australia's largest privately owned wine companies and makes its stand as one of the few with strong interests in distilling as well as grape growing and winemaking. The origins of Angove as a company have more to do with satisfying a way of life rather than a determination to establish a wine and brandy producing business. The history of Angove began when Dr. William Angove, an accomplished general practitioner and surgeon, emigrated with his wife and young family from Cornwall in 1886 to establish a medical practice in South Australia.
His early experimentation with vines, winemaking, and distilling led to the establishment of a proud family business. Dr. Angove's initial plantings at the township of Tea Tree Gully in the Adelaide foothills were the forerunner of one of the largest vineyards in the southern hemisphere –the magnificent Nanya Vineyard at Renmark in South Australia's Riverland.
Early vintages of wine, including a Burgundy styled dry red from the original Tea Tree Gully vineyard, proved to be popular within the local community. In addition, the steady expansion of the vineyard and the building of a winery and cellars fueled production as it reached 300 tonnes of grapes by the turn of the century.
During that period, the accent on red wine was gradually supplemented by the production of dry white wine as well as sherry and port- style wines. Stills and a large steam boiler were installed for production of fortifying spirit by Angove's eldest son, Thomas "Skipper" Angove, who while completing studies in Oenology at Roseworthy College, branched out from the family home in Tea Tree Gully and set up a distillery and processing house at Renmark in South Australia's Riverland region in 1910.
Despite the disruptions of two wars, the Renmark operation progressed and developed a fine reputation for table and fortified wines. In addition, Angove had gained a wide respect for the ability to distil high quality brandy. The renowned 'St. Agnes' had become a hallmark for quality brandy in Australia and a number of export markets.
Since World War II, the company has steadily expanded its operations and structure. The Renmark facility has grown to become a major winemaking and distilling entity with storage capacity for more than 15 million litres of wine and spirit. In 1947, Thomas William Carlyon Angove, the grandson of the founder, took the helm as Managing Director—thus beginning a new era in development.
In a progressive manner, the company renewed and added equipment, crushing facilities, a modern winemaking plant, and cooling systems, which enabled Angove to develop methods in premium red and white table wine production. By 1983, the fourth generation of the Angove family took control as John Carlyon Angove succeeded his father as Managing Director of the company.
John has picked up where his father left off—with increased development and investment in all aspects of the winery. This encompasses everything from the redevelopment of Nanya Vineyard to the increased storage capacity and state of the art packaging facility, which are all housed on the Angove Estate at Renmark. A renewed focus towards sales and marketing has seen the development of an Australian based sales force servicing the domestic trade and an expansion of Angove's export activities. Today, Angove wines can be found in over 30 different countries around the globe!
The Angove identity owes a great deal of its success to the pioneering spirit of Dr. Angove. His enthusiasm for wine has been evident in many of the Angove Family Winemakers’ developments ever since!