‘Bethanien’ (now Bethany) was named after the place in the Bible meaning ‘a fertile place’. It was the first village established in the Barossa Valley in 1842, only six years after the colony of South Australia was proclaimed.
This series of wines celebrates the historic claim of being the ‘first village’ in the now renowned wine region.
The Schrapel family have been tilling the soil in their Barossa vineyards in Bethany for over 165 years. They planted their first vineyard in 1852 from cuttings carefully nursed by Johann Schrapel when they migrated from Europe to South Australia. From 1846 to the early 1930s, the family also ran the Bethany Quarry in the Barossa foothills. The distinctive Bluestone was hand-hewn by the early pioneers to build their church, homes and roads. The Bluestone that founded their village established the signature brand palette, taking ownership of the ‘Bethany Blue’ colour.
The detailed tableaux is illustrated in folkloric ‘scherenschnitte’ style (literally ‘scissors cut’) ~ the folkart of papercutting, cutting and continuous paper designs ~ which began in Germany and Switzerland in the 1500s.
In 1844, with social unrest and religious persecution in Europe, the Schrapel family immigrated from Silesia to Australia in the new world. The imagery traces the story of the Schrapels and other early settlers of Bethany, from their journey across the oceans from Europe to South Australia – bringing their traditions and culture along with agricultural and wine knowledge – through to their village life in the Barossa Valley.
More than a 100 years later in 1981, Johann’s 5th generation descendants, brothers Geoff and Robert Schrapel, established Bethany Wines in their old quarry, over- looking the family’s vineyards and the historic village. Today, Bethany’s winery and cellars are on the quarry site encircled by the old bluestone walls, still standing as an enduring part of Barossa history, continuing the passion ignited six generations earlier.
All this history, through rhythmic vignette scenes of their daily life and customs are illustrated drawing inspiration from traditional folk motifs and silhouettes – as a continuing, connected narrative.