In a shed on a quiet back road in the Eden Valley, history is being made. A wine is being assembled by a group of four extraordinary and diverse winemakers, each donating barrels of 2018 shiraz for a joint project aimed at encouraging more women to enter the Australian wine industry. Participation rates of women in some areas of the industry is in decline.
In what is believed to be a world first, funds raised from the sale of the wine will go towards scholarships for women undergoing tertiary education, in addition to other activities supporting gender diversity.
Heading up the project is Eden Valley winemaker, Rebekah Richardson, at Irvine Wines, who is on the advisory board of the Australian Women In Wine Awards (AWIWA).
She reached out to colleagues Sue Hodder at Wynns Coonawarra Estate, Emma Norbiato at Calabria Family Wines, which owns old vine vineyards in the Barossa Valley, and Corrina Wright at Oliver’s Taranga in McLaren Vale.
“The idea is to create a blend of wine which brings together not only wine region strengths, but also an expression of the maker’s own particular style,” says Rebekah Richardson.
Each maker contributed two barrels of 2018 shiraz to the blending session, and the final AWIWA wine, Hear me Roar, is expected to be released in the first half of 2019.
Next year is the 125th anniversary of Australian women gaining the right to vote, which was led by South Australia in 1894. It is fitting that the inaugural AWIWA wine project should start there. For the 2019 vintage release, the project moves on to another state with different participants, but the message will remain the same. JENI PORT
Jeni Port is on the Advisory Board of the Australian Women In Wine Awards.