HUNTER VALLEY LEGEND
Karl Stockhausen arrived in Australia a post-war German immigrant and began work at Lindeman’s, first as a labourer in Pokolbin, and then as clerk/accountant in their Sydney office. He became the manager/winemaker of Ben Ean, and was able to learn winemaking from his mentor, Lindeman’s Ray Kidd. He was obviously a very good student, as he became one of our most awarded Australian winemakers, also shown in the results of his consultancy work.
Stockhausen: ‘I am sure I have learnt many things over the years in the wine industry. Most of them are given little, if any, recognition and are just taken for granted. Something I have recognised, rather than learnt is the camaraderie that has always existed in the wine industry; the willingness to help others in spite of a healthy rivalry and competitiveness within the industry. A quite recent indication of this was given by the help offered to the Drayton Family by so many wine industry people following the tragic accident at their winery.
At the time of my starting at Lindeman’s’ Ben Ean, I frequently asked people such as the late Len Drayton for advice which was readily given. A little later, I would offer help if I could. I recall a late night call from an Upper Hunter winery in the 1960s, the air bag of their only press had been cut while grapes were waiting to be pressed. We had a spare bag which solved their problem. On the lighter side, I remember Max Lake calling me just before one vintage – he had bought a new press but didn’t know how to use it, because the instructions were in German – could I help? Of course I could.”
Karl Stockhausen was inducted as a Legend in 2007.