William Randell

Our William Randell Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon are named and created in honour of our family ancestor and esteemed pioneer of Australia, William Richard Randell (1824 - 1911). He emigrated to South Australia in 1837 aged 13 years with his family, only ten months after the Colony of South Australia had been founded. Randell developed a knowledge of steam engines from his father’s flour mill at Gumeracha, along with a fascination for the river. In 1851 the Governor of South Australia created a bonus of £4000 to the first two boats to successfully navigate the Murray River.

In 1852, at the age of 28, and without any prior experience – Randell designed and commissioned a vessel 16m in length to be made of Redgum. Once built, the boat was deconstructed, dragged across the plains to the Murray, reconstructed and named the P.S. Mary Ann, after Randell’s mother. The Mary Ann’s maiden voyage was on the 19th of February 1853, making it the first paddle steamer on the River Murray.

On The 15th of August 1853 Randell set out again, unaware that Francis Cadell in the Lady Augusta was also on the River. The ‘Lady Augusta’ was double the size of Randell’s boat, and Cadell was an experienced captain. For some time the two paddle-steamers were in a neck and neck race, first one in the lead, then the other, with both boats stopping off to load and unload cargo. While Cadell travelled 150 miles beyond Swan Hill before returning with a cargo of wool, Randell travelled further, reaching within 50 miles of the Bendigo gold diggings. Randell had steamed 1068 miles from Goolwa. Neither steamboat met the conditions set down for the full government bonus. However Randell received £300 from the government for his feat, and the people raised another £400 as a testimonial.

In 2016, our William Randall Shiraz was awarded the Barossa Trust Mark as a sign of excellence in the brand. The Barossa Trust Mark recognises and celebrates excellence in food, wine and tourism offerings from across the Barossa region. It is a sign of authenticity; the mark of a genuine Barossa product or experience.