Celebrate International Women’s Day 2021 with a toast to the women who do it best!
There’s no denying that women in the wine industry know a thing or two about the beloved drop. And, in celebration of International Women’s Day 2021 (Monday 08 March) and in line with their theme #choosetochallenge, we’ve found three, world-class female Australian winemakers that are not only aspirational within the industry, by are a must-have for your own 2021 wine watchlist.
Helen McCarthy, St Hallett
With over 22 years of experience in the wine industry, St Hallett’s Helen McCarthy is one Australian female winemaker to keep on your 2021 watchlist this International Women’s Day. Born in England, in 1988 Helen moved to Australia. Fast forward nine years, McCarthy took a leap of faith and enrolled herself in a winemaking degree at the University of Adelaide. From here, Helen set out and joined the Lindemans, Wynns, Seppelts and Penfolds team. Then, to deepen her passion for Eden Valley, in 2015 Helen became the custodian of the Mountadam Vineyards in South Australia. After joining St Hallett Wines in 2019, Helen has since spent her time working with fruit grown all over the Barossa and Eden Valley region.
“My biggest ‘wow’ career moment was standing at the end of a bottling line when the very first wine that I made, from start to finish, rolled off the line.”
St Hallett Blackwell Shiraz 2018
Matured in one-, two- and three-year-old American hogshead oak barrels for 18-24 months; thanks to the rainfall in winter and the warm and dry spring, the St Hallett Blackwell Shiraz 2018 proves to be a delectable drop this year. Deep red in colour with purple hues, this drop has a nose of bright and lifted blackberry, dark chocolate and hints of vanilla. On the palate, this full bodied wine is easily described as balanced with good structure and texture and an overall soft opulent taste. Best paired with spicy curry dishes like this Slow-Cooked Karnataka Pork Curry recipe.
Penny Jones, Bay of Fires
Born in Hobart, there’s no denying that Bay of Fires’ Penny Jones has a passion for all things food and wine. And we can certainly see why. After graduating as Dux of Oenology in 2004 at Adelaide University, Penny stayed on in the Adelaide Hills for nine-and-a-half years to work her way through the ranks to winemaker at Petaluma winery. Since returning to her home state of Tasmania, Penny is now focusing her passion on cool climate wines as winemaker for Bay of Fires – all adding to her 18 years of experience within the wine industry.
“The wine industry is a challenging place to work in itself! No season is like the last, and that is part of what makes it so challenging and rewarding at the same time. Tasmania is really a tiny producer in terms of volume, and yet we are working to make wines that are world class. Part of the challenge is in getting our story out to the rest of the world.”
Bay of Fires Pinot Noir 2019 Tasmania
With a striking bright purple colour, the Bay of Fires Pinot Noir 2019 Tasmania features aromas of ripe strawberries that have mingled with a blend of cinnamon and Chinese five spice notes. The supple and elegant palate is full of sweet and gracious strawberries supported by ripe tannins. Overall, with the excellent intensity and depth of flavour from the ripe cherry fruit, the Bay of Fires Pinot Noir 2019 Tasmania is easily described as well balanced thanks to the roundness of fruit and tannin structure. A must try this year.
Lucy Clements, Premium Wineries
With over 20 years experience in the wine industry, Lucy Clements, based in Reynella South Australia is one female winemaker to add to your Australian wine watchlist in 2021. Operations manager for Premium Wineries ANZ for Accolade Wines, Lucy Clements is responsible for the operational, financial, people, safety and quality winemaking aspects of St Hallett, Grant Burge, Bay of Fires, Petaluma, Hardy’s Tintara, Stonier, Houghton Nannup and Mud House.
“My personal drive is starting on the home front and fostering a culture of collaboration, support and mentorship. I firmly believe we are stronger together than existing as separate wineries. Our premium team of eight wineries work incredibly closely together and we always support our industry and colleagues in other wineries.”
Grant Burge Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay NV
Using fruit grown from the elevated cool climate regions of Adelaide Hills, Alpine Valley and Eden Valley making for its distinct delicate yet equally intense flavours. Tinged with copper hues, the Grant Burge Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay NV exhibits a delightful biscuit-like nose combined with ripe strawberry and peach character. Rich and generous, this sparkling finishes with a creamy mouth-feel and is best enjoyed with this creamy Calamarata Carbonara recipe or as it is on its own.
Love wine? Why not check out the 10 best Australian made wines for Autumn 2021? And if you’re stuck on the perfect pairing for your newfound favourite drop, you can’t go wrong with ones of these 10 best delivered grazing and charcuterie platters in Australia.