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Riddoch John

Riddoch John John Riddoch (1827-1901), who came from Scotland, immigrated to Australia in 1850. By operating a trading post in the gold fields of Penola (South Australia) he had made an extraordinary amount of money, which he now invested in the purchase of huge land areas of 500 square kilometres (50,000 hectares). He founded "The Riddoch Run" and was engaged in sheep farming, 160,000 of them grazing on his pastures, which earned him the name "Squire of Penola".

In 1890 he founded the "Penola Fruit Colony" between Coonawarra and Mount Gambier. The Scot William Wilson owned a hectare of land near Penola and achieved phenomenal results with vegetables and fruit trees. It was through this abundance of crops that Riddoch became aware of the area, of which he owned the largest part. He divided 800 hectares of his property into blocks of four hectares and sold one unit for 100 pounds. The numerous buyers initially planted mainly fruit trees, but also vines. According to a document, as early as 1897 exactly 89 hectares of this sold land were planted with vines.

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