An equal world is an enabled world #EachforEqual is the theme and hashtag for 2020’s International Women’s Day. This year the campaign will highlight gender equality, the benefits to business and how everyone can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements.
As a woman working in a male-dominated industry, the significance of this theme is not lost, the male to female ratio is not where it to be should be but it is improving. As an example, in the past decade, the number of those graduating from Viticulture and Oenology degree courses at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga has gone from a 75:25 male-to-female gender ratio in 2012 to 52:48 two years ago.
Angus Barnes, the Executive Director of the NSW Wine Industry Association, highlights the fall in female participation rates after graduation saying, “We think the number of those in the industry is closer to about 70 per cent male and 30 per cent female”. On a positive note, The Australian Grape and Wine body which represents grape growers has put together a gender quality charter, so there is action in lifting equality. Angus Barnes estimates that in 10-15 years the number of those employed in the wine industry will be much closer to a 50–50 split.”
In recognition of this year’s International Women’s Day, we feature six female winemakers who are leading the wine revolution by sharing a commitment to sustainability and making wines without unnecessary additives. These talented winemakers own their businesses, forging their own path to establish themselves as leaders within a male-dominated industry. Cheers to that!
Jo Marsh (Billy Button), Vanya Cullen (Cullen), duo Mijan Patterson and Livia Maiorana. (South by South West), Josephine Perry (Dormilona) and Charlotte Hardy (Charlotte Dalton). Buy our Women in Wine Pack (5 mixed bottles) and we’ll give you a bonus bottle of Billy Button Blanco or Rosso.
Jo Marsh. Owner and Winemaker Billy Button Wines. Alpine Region, Vic
With a focus on alternate varietals, Jo produces an astounding array of wines, some in minuscule quantities. Working closely with local growers Jo has helped to breath new life into this tiny wine region, and shine a light on the breadth and depth of the grape varietal variation that we have in Australia. Jo follows no rule book, she believes in doing what’s best for the wine, polishing and perfecting, highlighting the fruit and sculpting the palate so the wine flows through the mouth with texture and interest.
Choose a bonus bottle of either Billy Button Blanco or Rosso
Josephine Perry. Owner and Winemaker Dormilona Wines. Margaret River, WA
Josephine’s first vintage was in Margaret River at just age 14 years, and before setting up Dormilona worked extensively in Spain, France and the Canary Islands. Dormilona is a small batch winery, owned by Josephine, Jimmy Perry and their two children. They make their wine using fruit from certified organic and biodynamic vineyards (as well as some conventionally grown fruit). In the winery the ethos is very much European, making wine with no additives, fining and very little intervention. A touch of sulphur at bottling. Amphora clay pots feature in the winery which her kids use at chalkboards.
The aim is to make tasty wine with little input. “I do everything by touch, smell and taste”, says Josephine.
Try in the Women in Wine pack
Mijan Patterson and Livia Maiorana. Owners and Winemakers South by South West Wines. Margaret River, WA
Founders Mijan Patterson and Livia Maiorana describe themselves a contemporary, meandering négociant working in an age-old profession. They craft wines of excellence and difference that combine respect for the land, with innovative viticultural practices, and both traditional and contemporary winemaking techniques. They are members of the Conservation Council of WA and also support the Western Australian Forrest Alliance, Save Our Marine Life, and Surf Life Saving Australia. They consider and try to minimise environmental impacts in respect of what they produce, they care about their social responsibility within the south-west. In short: South by South West is all about sourcing the best fruit. The best fruit grows in the best environment, so they want to protect that by limiting their environmental footprint where possible.
Vanya Cullen. Owner and Winemaker Cullen Wines. Margaret River, WA
Vanya Cullen has been winemaking at her family’s Wilyabrup estate since 1983. Over the past decade, Vanya has transformed her family farm from one of Margaret River’s best into one of the country’s premium boutique wineries. Cullen Wines, while remaining family owned, has since evolved making quality wine from a certified Biodynamic, Carbon Neutral and naturally powered estate. Vanya has a long list of awards and indeed has had a celebrated career. She is a mentor and inspiration to many emerging and established winemakers. Her most recent award is 2019 Winemaker of the Year at The Australian Women in Wine Awards.
Charlotte Hardy. Owner and Winemaker Charlotte Dalton Wines. Adelaide Hills, SA
A labour of love, Charlotte Hardy makes wines because that is her passion, she simply says “I love wine.” Having made wine all over the world for 15 years, she has been drinking wine all over the world for longer. Whether walking through the vineyards or immersed in the journey of turning grapes into wine, she loves to watch the personalities develop in every single barrel and to observe the effect of the years passing on bottles of wine. Charlotte thinks wine can be felt, and gets so much joy making the Charlotte Dalton wines that surely you will feel joy when you drink them. Charlotte Hardy wines are small batch wines and sell out every year.
2019 Wahine Pinot Noir (The word Wahine is Maori for woman or a woman of strength)
We are so excited to get our hands on Charlotte Dalton’s 2019 Wahine Pinot Noir replaces the label’s award-winning Eliza, which was Charlotte’s graceful and free-spirited Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir.
For information on global gender parity we referred to the 50|50 by 2030 Foundation. We found the latest insight report from the World Economic Forum: The Global Gender Gap Report 2020. Out of 149 countries surveyed, at 87% the most gender-equal country to date is Iceland (no change), New Zealand ranks 6th and Australia 44th(last year 39th).