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Medal - Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, Gold, Victoria, Australia, 1900 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 24628

Summary:
Medal awarded by the Department of Agriculture at the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, Champion Prize of Australia for dry wine, to Hans W.H. Irvine in 1900.

Hans William Henry Irvine, born in Melbourne in 1856, was a successful vigneron and politician, and was known as the 'wine king of Australia'. His largest holding was the Great Western winery, which he owned from 1888-1918. In the early 1890s Irvine purchased two-thirds of the produce of local vignerons, much of which was distilled into his brandy. He also became known for his claret, hock, chablis, burgundy, hermitage, sparkling hock and sparking burgandy. He was an effective self-promoter, and in 1982 entertained the Victorian governor in lavish style. He also pioneered wine advertising. Irvine was particularly interested in the science of wine-making, and used the latest technologies in his cellars. These contributed to his success at a time when so many other Victorian wine-makers were struggling.

In 1892 he was commissioned by the Victorian minister of agriculture to write a report on the Australian wine trade. Two years later he suggested a conference of vignerons to discuss problems facing the industry, and supported the proposal for a college of viticulture and the introduction of phylloxera-resistant American root stocks. He encouraged industry self-regulation through an elected board, the establishment of regional wineries and cheaper finance for investors in the wine industry. He travelled to Europe several times to learn wine-making techniques and arrange sales.

Five years after this medal was awarded he became the first president of the Viticultural Society of Victoria.
Description:
A gold prize medal (15 ct., 31 mm diameter with loop and ring) with the obverse of the Department of Agriculture of Victoria featuring a rural scene with horse, sheep, cow and pig in the foreground and farmer reaping wheat in the background; combined with the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria Champion Prize of Australia reverse.
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 31 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 15.01 g (Weight)
Dimension Comment: Height with loop extended 40 mm

More information

Tagged with: agricultural shows, agriculture, royal melbourne show, wine
Themes this item is part of: Great Western Winery Timeline 1858-1922, Hans William Henry Irvine, Vigneron & Politician (1856-1922), Public Life & Institutions Collection, Sustainable Futures Collection, Stokes & Son, Medal Makers, Melbourne, Victoria & Sydney, New South Wales, The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, Hans William Henry Irvine, Vigneron & Politician (1856-1922)
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Civil
Tertiary Classification: agricultural prizes
Series: Agricultural Prize Medals
DateEra: 1900 AD
Obverse Description: At centre surmounted by crown an agricultural scene; around, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE VICTORIA
Reverse Description: At centre, CHAMPION PRIZE / OF / AUSTRALIA / AWARDED BY DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE / TO HANS W.H. IRVINE / FOR DRY WINE; around, .1900 . THE ROYAL AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY OF VICTORIA
Edge Description: Plain
Inscriptions: Obverse: DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE VICTORIA
At centre, CHAMPION PRIZE OF AUSTRALIA AWARDED BY DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE TO HANS W.H. IRVINE FOR DRY WINE . 1900 . THE ROYAL AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY OF VICTORIA
Shape: Round with loop
Material: Gold
Issued By: Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1900
Mint: Stokes & Sons, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1900
Commissioned By: Victoria: Agriculture Department, Victoria, Australia, 1900
Awarded To: Mr Hans Irvine - Great Western Vineyards & Champagne Cellars, Great Western, Victoria, Australia, 1900

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