HJ & his brother Keith on one of the families motorcycles in the early 40's
Herbert inherited a bustling business when his father passed away in 1970, and he knew it – he’d been working for Oliver’s Taranga for more than half of his life before taking the reins at age 48.
Herbert or ‘HJ’ as he was known, was the man who turned Oliver’s Taranga into a grapes only business. He loved the grape and decided it would be the sole focus for Oliver’s Taranga.
HJ was quite the bachelor in the early 1940’s, wooing his love Marjorie at dance after dance in McLaren Vale and Adelaide. Marjorie’s ‘dance journal’ reveals details of these soirees “I had an extra dance with Bert (HJ) tonight” she writes. She goes onto write of the day HJ was called up to be a fighter pilot in WWII, wishing it weren’t so.
In 1948 with the help of the native aboriginal Kaurna people, the 1948 block was planted and just a few years later, HJ & Marjorie welcomed three children, Robyn, Donald & Morris. It was Donald who would take Oliver’s Taranga into the new millennium. HJ also purchased cropping land in the South east of SA, near Kingston.
HJ (standing) and his brother Arch in the 1920's
HJ also followed the family tradition of being an active sportsman- playing cricket, football, bowls and golf. Don & HJ shared a father/son 150 runs not out partnership in the 70’s, and were both named in the McLaren Vale Football Club’s team of the century.
Bert passed away in 2003, leaving Don to run the Taranga Vineyards and Morris to run the South East property. We have named our premium Shiraz the HJ Reserve in his memory.
Corrina is now raising her family in the home that RW built, and HJ was born in. Marjorie is now the matriarch of the Oliver family. She is well known for her colourful knitted comfy woollen socks that the family all wear on site at Olivers Taranga Vineyards.
Marjorie Oliver, with Masterchef's Marion Grasby and granddaughter Miah 2011