By Andrew Starke
Thomas Angove, the man credited with inventing the wine cask, passed away earlier this month at a Renmark nursing home in Riverland, South Australia.
Angove was a pioneer in the Australian wine industry with Winemakers' Federation of Australia CEO, Stephen Strachan, praising his contribution to the sector’s development.
Contacted by TheShout, current Angove MD, John Angove, said he would remember his father for his creative thinking and natural curiosity.
“Dad’s view was that if nobody was growing a particular varietal in our area that he wanted, then he would do it himself,” he said. “As children we were amongst the first to waterski in our area because dad had come across this pastime in Canada and made us skis.”
Thomas Angove was born on August 8, 1917 in Renmark, South Australia, the grandson of Angove Family Winemakers founder William Angove, and followed in his father Carl’s footsteps by enrolling for a Diploma in Agriculture at Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1936.
However, at the end of the second year he transferred to the Oenology course and in February, 1941, he became a director of Angove’s Pty Ltd.
After a stint in the Royal Australian Air Force as a pilot he became managing director of Angove’s Limited in 1946.
The achievement for which he will be best remembered followed a few years later.
“After some years of quiet experimenting, the company released a world first,” said a spokesperson for Angove Family Winemakers.
“Tom Angove had the idea of a plastic or flexible bag inside a rigid cardboard box as a way of selling wine. The dream became reality in 1965 and the ingeniousness of the idea is clearly demonstrated by the hold which the soft pack now has in the wine market.”
“Today’s package is the result of many years of further research and experimenting with laminates and tapping devices, but the fundamental concept of a flexible bag inside a rigid box, giving the airless flow packaging concept was that of Tom Angove.”
In 1969 Angove commenced the development on the River Murray of the largest single vineyard in Australia at the time, with 473 hectares planted.
In 1977 he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal for services to the wine industry and he retired as managing director of Angove’s Pty Ltd in January 1983, succeeded by his son John.
He was awarded an Order of Australia in 1994 for his services to the industry.
Thomas Angove remained as Chairman of the Board of Directors until1998.