Wine Cask
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The wine cask was developed by Tom Angove of Angove's, winemakers and distillers, of Renmark in South Australia, with a 16 years Letters Patent no. 280826 being issued to the company on 20th April, 1965, stating one Thomas William Carlyon Angove as the actual inventor. Many claims of 'the first' came from other wine producers and from overseas but were retracted when presented by the cold hard facts - Tom Angove invented the wine cask, the fore runner to the modern day soft pack.

Angove PatentThe title of the invention was 'improved container and pack for liquids'. Up to then the bulk of wine in Australia was sold in bottles and glass flagons. The half gallon glass flagon was susceptible to breakage and the wine, being exposed to air after opening, deteriorated in quality if not consumed fairly quickly.

This startling innovation was a soft flexible bag, sealed without any air space, which collapsed as wine was withdrawn, thus protecting the remaining wine from air spoilage. The cubical shape of the cardboard container was not only space and transport economical but also protected the bag of wine from a fair degree of rough handling. Initially there were problems with trace leaks through the membrane and in pouring but over the years these improved, especially with a new tapping device in the early 80s.

The bag took two years to develop and after much market research one gallon packs of table white, table red, port, sweet sherry and muscat were launched on an unsuspecting drinking public in November 1965.

Angove's opted out of the cask market in 1971 due to the then unreliability of the pack but with improved design of the pack Angove's re-entered the quaffing wine market in 1984 with their 'Paddle Wheel 5', a 5 litre wine box. The name was to celebrate the Company's early history when the product was taken downstream on the River Murray from Renmark to Murray Bridge by paddle steamer and then on-forwarded by rail to the capital cities.

William Thomas Angove
William Thomas Angove

A cask is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as 'a wooden vessel of cylindrical form made of curved staves bound together by hoops with flat ends: a barrel'. Not exactly an apt description of the soft pack or bag-in-box we have come to know and take to our hearts as the cask, containing our favourite tipple of 'Chateau Cardboard'.

Possibly Tom Angove came up with the idea from seeing a picture of a Greek shepherd drinking water or wine from a goatskin. No matter how, but the introduction of the bag-in-box changed the drinking habits of a nation and to a lesser degree the rest of the world. Visit a wine outlet anywhere and you will find the ubiquitous cask.

A full list of the range of Angove's Products can be had by visiting

You can order Angove's Products on the Internet and pay with your credit card.

Angove's, established in 1886, exports to the 4 corners of the globe therefore overseas enquiries are warmly welcomed.

The Angove's winery is at Bookmark Avenue, about 5 km south west of Renmark in the beautiful Murray Valley. Renmark is 260 km north east of Adelaide on the Sturt Highway. In 1887 the Chaffey brothers from Canada were granted 250,000 acres of land to test their irrigation scheme. Today, water piped from the Murray nourishes the lush orchards and vineyards of the area.

Paddle Wheel

The Murray Valley region, near the Victorian border is famous for a wide range of top quality table wines and spirits such as ouzo and brandy. Much of the grape harvest grown in the Murray Valley is trucked to wineries in the Barossa for processing.

Other industries in the area are canneries, fruit-juice factories, wheat, sheep and dairy cattle.

Visit the historic Renmark Hotel and ask for a thirst quenching vermouth and tonic on the rocks, made with Angove's 'Marko' dry vermouth, of course.

For more on the Murray Valley area go to -

If in New South Wales call in to see mine host David Thomas at The Oaks Hotel in Neutral Bay, Sydney for your 'Marko' on a warm afternoon, or warm the cockles of your heart on a cool evening under the oak tree in the Garden, or in front of the log fire, with a Stone's Green Ginger Wine, from Angove's of course.

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