Diary of a business trip in Southern Africa

Author: 
[MANUSCRIPT DIARY; GERMAN WINE AND SPIRIT MERCHANT; DEINHARD] Peter Hasslacher, wine merchant's agent.
Publication details: 
1954.
£450.00
SKU: 18996

Diary advertising Julius Wile Sons & Co., Inc., 2 Park Avenue, N.Y. "Importers Since 1877", soft artificial leather covers tan-coloured, rubbed, name "Peter Hasslacher" in gilt on front, hinge strain, contents otherwise good, complete, one day to each page. Initially there is printed information about the agencies for imports of wines, spirits and liqueurs of Julius Wile, a Wile family tree, a history of the comp[any, biographical details of "Active Members" of the Wile and Blum families. Hasslacher entries commence on 23 March 1954 and initially cover his journey to South Africa by boat (the "Rhodesia Castle"). [There are also no entries between 16 June and 20 July - presumably on holiday - or after 7 Sept - homeward bound]. Landfall at Cape Town 8 April 1954; tourist sights visited; appointments made; social life (usually "drinks"); happenings in Cape Town (the University Rag, the big game of rugby); visit to Stellenbosch; meeting at "The Federal Wine & Brandy Co. offices" with Brin and the Kramers; met owner of the [Nederberg Estate?], arranging visit; made plan for visits with Harold Kramer; call on J. Sedgwick & Co.; visit to the Nederberg Estate and the "K.W.V." (shown a range of wines - he describes capacity etc "They must do 90% of export trade. Founded in 1924 for the purpose of consuming surplus. Each year they fix the lowest price at which a merchant may buy from a farmer"); "tummy trouble"; similar meetings, visits (family and friends there); socialising; reference to his "partner Bubbles Flock"; Hermanus; "Bertrams at Constantia"; played golf; "Spent a busy day visiting various hotels and Bottle stores"; Caste Wine & Brandy Co.; "Very difficult to get any sense out of the hotel boys as to what imported wines they stock"; tasted some of Bertrams wines; discussion of marketing a particular SA wine; "import permit difficulty"; meeting with personnel of rivals Sichel Sohn"; Distillers Corporation - "very up to date plant"; Stellenbosch Farmers Winery Ltd - distributors of Gilbeys Gin "distilled in Pietermaritzburg", etc; found a bottle of Rudesheimer [Ries?] '49 "sulphury"; other visits to stores with mixed results (some people "know nothing about wine" and some don't care), including orders; visit to sugar estate; trip to Johannesberg, arriving 14 June; gap in Diary to 20 July; Rhodesia; same pattern of meetings, visits, information as before; "After along chat" a buyer only orders Blue Nun (!); visit ot the LIvingstone Museum; from Bulawayo to Salisbury, Rhodesia; tobacco auction; "drove into Lusaka" (6 Aug); Nairobi (11 Aug.); same pattern of meetings; sets sail from Mombassa (20 Aug.); Port Sudan (26 Aug.); voyage and its sights described (Stromboli etc); final entry 7 Sept. on entry into Atlantic. A comprehensive picture of the Wine Trade as well as the colonial life style in Southern Africa, especially South Africa, at that time - but described as if inhabited only by white people. Deinhard, wine and sparkling wine House, was a long-established firm now absorbed (Henkell & Söhnlein).