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The Origin of Cleanskins
Attributed to: Mehigan, Mr Daniel
Source: As related
Contributed by: Mr Daniel Mehigan

Cleanskins are wines sold with a simple 'slip' label. Years ago they were sold without a label but this is now illegal unless sold by the complete case which only requires a label on the outer of the box.

Why cleanskins are so popular is a complete mystery to us. Our view is that it is a derivative of the old idea of home bottling. That was fun and gave the bottler good value. We assume that cleanskins are popular because the customer thinks they provide good value. While we ponder this a customer, Mr Daniel Mehigan has reminded us of the origin of the word.

"I first heard the word in the Northern Territory 50 years ago when cattle were mustered in an area of no fences and a nominal line was the only division. Cattle were mustered from miles around, pretty well equally on each side. Then the mob would be divided so any cattle with a brand went into the right lot. Cows with a brand, with unbranded calves (cleanskins) running with them went to the brand showing on the cow. It was assumed that the calf was hers. Any remaining cleanskins were divided 50-50 and the two mobs went their way back into their own country."


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