How far can a migrant go? Hermann Thumm: Founding father of the Barossa
How far can a migrant go?
Hermann Thumm: Founding Father of Chateau Barossa
As a young man, Hermann Thumm, or “HT” as he’s affectionately known, cheated death by escaping Stalinist Russia after the Second World War. In 1946, HT immigrated to South Australia and started a new life in the Barossa Valley, a wine-growing region named after the La Barrosa region in Spain.
When he migrated to South Australia, he followed in his father’s footsteps and went into the wine business, establishing his first winery in 1948. Then, in 1959, using beautiful yellow sandstone, he built Chateau Yaldara (an indigenous word for ‘sparkling’).
In 1999, he sold Chateau Yaldara and built a grand new winery called Chateau Barossa, just up the road. The new Chateau features Australia’s largest rose garden and more than 1000 trees.
Having dedicated his life to viticulture, HT received an Australia Medal for pioneering services in winemaking. His focus is now on value-added products that include grape liqueurs and food products. German immigration was to South Australia from the very early days of settlement and there are many German cultural events in towns like Hahndorf. Hermann Thumm is just one of the influential German winegrowers, as evidenced by labels like Kaiser Stuhl and Seppelt.
Australia was a good move for Hermann Thumm, and Australia has been enriched by his skill, determination and enterprise.