Barker’s History

  1. 50 Years Preserved

    At a time when consumers are looking for more and more connection with the foods they eat, Michael Barker proudly shares the Barker’s of Geraldine journey, the people, the innovations and the philosophies that still guide them. After 50 years of business there are a lot of stories to be told… a lot of learningsRead more

  2. Celebrating 50 Years

    Barker’s of Geraldine is delighted to celebrate 50 years in business. Founded by the entrepreneurial spirit of Anthony and Gillian Barker in 1969, the business started from humble beginnings based on instinct, ingenuity and hard work.The story began when Anthony had a need to diversify away from farming and embarked on a bold new adventure toRead more

  3. Anthony Barker: the revoluntionary tinkerer

    The Revolutionary Tinkerer

    One of Anthony Barker’s better known inventions was the Kent-Barker Log Fire which transformed the world of indoor heating.Anthony’s heater (an early homemade prototype made from an oil drum) was the world’s first fully enclosed high efficiency wood burner. His patented heater was sold internationally by Kent Heating, a subsidiary of Shell Oil.Inspiration came fromRead more

  4. A Berry Good Tipple

    Anthony Barker’s Winemaking AdventuresAnthony Barker subscribed to the UK publication ‘The Amateur Winemaker’ where elderberries were proclaimed to produce one of the best non-grape red wines. The rich-coloured elderberry was used as long ago as medieval times when ‘black mead’, a potent concoction made from elderberries and honey, was enjoyed by kings and commoners alike.Read more

  5. constance barker's legacy

    Constance Barker’s Legacy

    Auckland Star, 15 September 1925The engagement is announced of Miss Constance Mary MacArthur, elder daughter of Captain and Mrs McArthur, Forest Road, Geraldine and formerly of England, to Mr Michael Studholme Barker, eldest son of Mr and Mrs J M Barker, Waihi, Woodbury.When Constance married Michael Barker (senior) in 1926, it’s unlikely she imagined theRead more

  6. Throw Back Thursday!

    Anthony Barker springs the bung out of a cask of elderberry wine using a hand-fashioned mallet – early 1970s There’s a popular thread on social media under the tag #ThrowBackThursday… …and we’ve been looking back in delight at some old Barker’s of Geraldine gems.We came across this, c1980s. It’s a little jingle called Battle ofRead more

  7. Converted Cowshed

    Upton Cellars: The Converted Cowshed

    The Upton Farm cowshed and piggery were converted into the winery where the first wines were made entirely from old-fashioned elderberries. Elderberry trees flourished around the riverbeds of Canterbury and North Otago, some growing to great heights. It is said these were brought in by early settlers as hedge plants and, maybe, with the thoughtRead more

  8. Farming to Elderberry Wine

    Diversification was in the minds of some farmers as long ago as the 1960’s. In the space of 30 years Upton Farm at Pleasant Valley in South Canterbury, became Upton Cellars, Barker’s Wines and finally the prodigious Barker Fruit Processors Ltd with a reputation for producing nothing but the best. Anthony Barker, founder of theRead more

  9. The Barker’s Story

    We share a series of snippets from Barker Family 1969-1999 and beyond; stories and anecdotes collated over the years. It is a story of how a dream can come true and how unassuming hard work and a belief in other people can be rewarded by the collective harnessing of a village of industry. Barker’s isRead more

  10. Ginger Negus

    Ginger Negus flash back

    Ginger Negus – flash back to the 1970s!After Dad had perfected his elderberry table wine he decided to make a port. This meant we had to have a licensed customs bond store where we stored the drums of spirit, 96% alcohol, under lock and key, and the Timaru customs officer had to come out toRead more