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Thomas Hardy & Sons

Thomas Hardy immigrated to South Australia in 1850 and gained work with John Reynell who had established vineyards to Adelaide's south, in an area now known as Reynella. After a few years working with Reynell, Hardy spent sometime working on a cattle farm and then left South Australia for the Victorian goldfields.

On his return to Adelaide in 1853 Hardy established his own winery on the banks of the River Torrens, just outside Adelaide. In 1876 Hardy purchased the Tintara winery in the McLaren Vale, south of Adelaide.

In 1887 the company had expanded so much that Hardy asked his sons, James, Thomas and Robert, to join the business. The company then became Thomas Hardy & Sons Ltd. It continued to expand and, after federation in 1901, opened offices interstate. By the 1920s Thomas Hardy & Sons Ltd. owned vineyards in the Waikerie irrigation area on the River Murray and in the Barossa Valley.

When Hardy died in 1912, his obituary in The Register described him as a 'grand old man' who 'had generally been regarded as the father of the wine industry in South Australia'. Successive generations of Hardys continued to see the business grow. Significant additions to the company included the 1982 purchase of the Reynella winery at which Thomas Hardy had first started his career in winemaking.

In 1992 Thomas Hardy & Sons Ltd. merged with Berri Renmano Limited to form BRL Hardy. In 2003 it was acquired by the international alcoholic beverage company, Constellation Brands, but kept the Hardy name and is now known as the Hardy Wine Company. This company manages vineyards throughout Australia covering over 3,200 hectares and also obtains grapes from around 1,000 independent growers. The Hardy Wine Company exports to over 60 countries and supplies 25 percent of the Australian domestic market. The company's portfolio of wines includes brands such as Hardys, Banrock Station, Moondah Brook, Stanley, Starve Dog Lane and Chateau Reynella.

The State Library of South Australia holds the Thomas Hardy Wine Library, items for which are purchased with an annual grant from the Hardy family given in honour of their ancestor. To view titles held in this collection do an author search for 'Thomas Hardy Wine Library' in the State Library's catalogue.

A Hardy's wines display
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Tintara Vineyard
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