October 16, 1797: On this day, James Brudenell was born. In the Crimean War, the Light Brigade was commanded by Lieutenant-General James Thomas Brudenell, also known as Lord Cardigan, a British Army officer. He was in charge of the Light Brigade when the Battle of Balaclava started. He personified the haughty and ostentatious nobleman of the time for the entirety of his political career and lengthy military career. His career in the Army was characterized by numerous instances of egregious incompetence, as well as by true bravery and kindness toward the soldiers under his charge. He actively and adamantly opposed any political reform in Britain as a member of the landed nobility, but in the latter year of his life, he gave in and saw that such reform would benefit all social groups. When Lord Cadigan was in charge of the 11th Hussars in Canterbury Barracks in 1840, he put an officer on disciplinary action for using a bottle of wine instead of a decanter. He is acknowledged as one of the significant historical personalities who impacted and spread the use of decanters.

October 16, 1837: On this day Johann Gramp, a Bavarian-born farmer, arrived at Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia, setting foot in Australia for the first time. Gramp was just eighteen years old at the time and had decided to leave his native Germany in search of opportunity in the growing colony in Australia. He soon found work with the South Australia Company. Ten years later Gramp moved to the Barossa Valley in South Australia near Jacob’s Creek. Here he established one of the region’s first vineyards from which he produced an octave of wine in 1850. Eventually, he became one of the Barossa Valley’s first major wineries, Orlando Wines. In 1976, nearly 130 years after Gramp first arrived at Jacob’s Creek, the company he founded began releasing Jacob’s Creek wine in honor of its founder and his life story. Successive generations of his family worked in the wine making industry, and though the original company was sold in 1970, Tim Gramp, the fifth generation, founded Tim Gramp Wines in 1996. For more information, see the entry on Johann Gramp in the Australian Dictionary of Biography (Canberra, 2006).

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