Wine Australia has teamed up with the Australian Women in Wine Awards (AWIWA) to host the 2017 awards in London - the first time that the winners will be announced outside of Australia. As part of the event, Wine Australia will be running trade and consumer tastings on 26 September.
This unique event - the first of its kind - gives the UK trade, press and consumers the opportunity to meet Australia’s most prominent women in wine, taste their wines and hear their stories. It will be the world’s largest gathering of Australian women winemakers and winery principals.
Over 50 female winemakers and winery principals will be showcasing their wines and demonstrating the quality, diversity and innovation of Australian wine. Participating wineries are from over 20 wine regions across Australia including Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, Margaret River, McLaren Vale and Tasmania.
The line-up ranges from some of the country’s most iconic winemakers to the most pioneering new kids on the block. These stars only rarely come to the UK en-masse, and having so many of them under one roof is a first. Combining experience, expertise and experimentation, these ladies are shaking up the Australian wine landscape in their own way. From planting alternative varieties and testing out new methods to winning awards and consulting on industry issues, all these women have a fascinating story to tell. As diverse as the women are, they share some similarities and can be assembled into seven groups:
These leading ladies need no introduction; they are some of Australia's best-known and most iconic winemakers and viticulturists.
The High Flyers
This group - the latest movers and shakers - are some of the most exciting, innovative and down-right talented women in wine. They are winning awards as winemakers, their wines are picking up medals, they are wine judges and sit on boards in the industry.
- Rose Kentish - Rose Kentish Wines, McLaren Vale
- Rebekah Richardson - Irvine Wines, Barossa
- Alexia Roberts and Toni Carlino - Penny's Hill, McLaren Vale
- Lillian Carter and Suzanne Evans - Symphonia Fine Wines, King Valley
- Sarah Fagan - De Bortoli, Yarra Valley
- Kate Goodman - Goodman Wines, Yarra Valley
- Sarah Crowe - Yarra Yering, Yarra Valley
- Samantha Connew - Stargazer, Tasmania
- Emma Norbiato – Calabria Family Wines, multiple regions
- Trina Smith - Jacob's Creek, multiple regions
The Family Affair
Some of these women are the nth generation, like Corrina Wright who is the sixth generation of the Oliver family with a history of grape growing in South Australia dating back over 170 years. Others work alongside their family, like Kathy Drogemuller who set up Paracombe Wines with her husband in 1992 and her two children are now part of the business.
- Rachel Atkins - Fox Gordon, Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley
- Kim Longbottom - Henry's Drive, Padthaway
- Kathy Drogemuller - Paracombe Wines, Adelaide Hills
- Ang Tolley and Kate Goodman - Penley Estate, Coonawarra
- Dawne Thomas and Catrin Thomas - Thomas Vineyard Estate, McLaren Vale
- Liz Adams - Brothers in Arms, Langhorne Creek
- Corrina Wright - Oliver's Taranga, McLaren Vale
- Cathy Phelan - Sutherland Estate, Yarra Valley
- Eliza Brown and Angela Brown - All Saints Estate, Rutherglen
- Mandy Jones - Jones Winery and Vineyard, Rutherglen
The Givers Back
This is a collection of women who have a passion for the environment and sustainability, as well as contributing to society and giving something back to the community. In the vineyard, these women champion minimal intervention, organic and biodynamic methods whilst outside they hold workshops, and support charities and local groups.
New Kids On The Block
As the name suggests, these are some of the young guns that are taking their region by storm. With the exception of Raidis Estate (stocked by Awin Barratt Siegel Wine Agencies), these wineries aren’t yet distributed in the UK. Through this event, Wine Australia is giving the UK trade a sneaky peak at these exciting, up-and-coming producers.
The Career Changers
These women worked in very different jobs before succumbing to their love and crossing over into wine production. Vet, nurse, photographer and supermarket wine buyer are just some of the earlier careers of these fascinating women. Meet these women and hear the stories behind their rather unconventional career paths.
The women in this group have a French connection; they are all French by birth with the exception of Alexandra Maurisset who is married to a Frenchman. Despite close ties to France, they’ve chosen to make wine in Australia. One of them even manages to do a vintage in Australia and in France nearly every year.