Dr John Possingham is a legend in the Australian wine industry.
As a horticulture graduate from Adelaide University in the 1960′s, Dr John’s career began in Merbein (Victoria, Australia). His research led him to travel the world studying grape vines, graduating with a PhD at Oxford University in England.
Dr John formulated the Australian Federal Governments’ CSIRO program and directed the area of Horticultural research for 30 years.
However Dr John is most well known for implementing the mechanisation of vine trellising, harvesting and pruning in Australia after a chance discovery of prototype harvesters in California. The wine industry was expanding rapidly at the time and the constant shortages of labour required a solution.
Dr John changed the way we thought about growing grapes for making wine. By designing machines that could be operated with only a few people and at night (when grapes are the coolest); vineyards started to look very different.
Like a modern viticultural cowboy – Dr John rode his mechanical harvester up and down long, neat rows of trellised vines, turning heads (and minds) all over the world.
After decades of research and publishing hundreds of scientific reports – Dr John retired to McLaren Vale in South Australia purchasing two vineyards from distinctly different districts – Willunga and Blewitt Springs.