How the ANZACs saved New Zealand from Prohibition
Over the weekend many Australians and New Zealanders gave up a lie in to honour those who have served their country at one of the country’s many ANZAC Day dawn parades.
We have much to thank those who served their country. And they have also had played a large part in shaping the New Zealand wine industry.
ANZACs played a crucial role in hampering a powerful prohibition movement. In 1919, Kiwis voted in favour of banning the production and sale of alcohol by a majority of 13,000 yet the votes of nearly 40,000 troops overseas were still to be counted. It turned out fighting was thirsty work as more than 32,000 of these soldiers voted against prohibition, saving the country from going dry.
Without those winning votes, many wineries like Corbans would not have been able to continue operating and well-known producers including Babich might not have formed.
Hawke’s Bay has its own modern-day ANZAC-made wine. Lt. Col. Bob Newton spent 22 years in the Australian army, serving in Singapore, Kashmir and New Zealand. After a posting to Palmerston North, he teamed up with Marlborough’s John Forrest to form Newton Forrest in the Gimblett Gravels. And they make bloody good Bordeaux blends.
*A version of this article was first published in the New Zealand Herald.