At the tender age of 20, Thomas Hardy, filled with the early pioneering spirit, left his home town of Gittisham, England to carve out his future in the newly established colony of South Australia. Arriving August 18, 1850 Thomas found work tending cattle in the surrounding hills of Adelaide. It was not long before Thomas sought a new challenge and, in an amazing twist of fate that would not be realised for a further 130 years, he moved south to work with a fellow Devonshire man by the name of John Reynell. Helping tend Reynell's recently established orchards and vineyards, Thomas quickly developed a keen understanding for both. This period of his life would serve him well in the years to come. In 1853 Thomas married Johanna and together they purchased a small block of land on the fertile banks of the River Torrens. Thomas' first site was aptly named Bankside.
By 1857 Thomas created his first slice of history by shipping two hogsheads of wine to England. This is commonly applauded as marking Australia's entry into the wine export market. With his Bankside cellars expanding throughout the 1860's towards capacity, Thomas looked again for expansion. He headed south to the now famous wine district of McLaren Vale, adding the struggling property of Tintara to his growing portfolio of wineries and vineyards. It was at Tintara that Thomas Hardy's winemaking genius was to be recognised on a world stage. A gold medal in 1882 awarded at the prestigious International Wine Show in Bordeaux, payed tribute to the man and his ability. In 1889 he experienced further international success with a gold medal at the much heralded Paris exhibition.
Thomas Hardy died two days prior to his 82nd birthday. The world agreed that this man, the founder of Thomas Hardy & Sons, had played one of the most significant roles in the development of the Australian Wine Industry.
In 1982, 129 years after Thomas Hardy & Sons was founded on the banks of the River Torrens, history turned a full circle with the Hardy family purchasing the Reynella based winery of Walter Reynella & Sons.
Thomas' family company moved headquarters from Adelaide to Reynella, converting the Reynell homestead and cellars where Thomas had lived and learned his trade, into the head office. An ironic twist of fate.
Hardys continued to grow and develop throughout the later 20th century culminating with a merger between Thomas Hardy & Sons and Berri Renmano in 1992, forming Australia's second largest wine company.