The wine industry has never been a man’s world. It’s just been portrayed that way. From the earliest beginnings in family-owned vineyards around Australia, women helped plant the vineyears, prune the vines, make the wine and sell it. Sometimes they even got to drink and enjoy the result of their labour. But read about those days and the story often revolves around men. Not any more.
Some of Australia’s best-known, award-winning wines are made by women: Tarrawarra pinot noir, Cullen cabernet sauvignon, Penfolds Old Vine shiraz/mourvedre/grenache, Wolf Blass riesling and more.
The women behind the labels talk about the wines they make and the grapes they grow for some of Australia’s most outstanding wines, including Henschke’s Hill of Grace shiraz.
And there’s more: Just what is a Dolly Parton wine? Do women have a superior tasting ability to men? What do male Aussie winemakers really think of their female colleagues?
Jeni Port is a long-time wine writer with the Age and a correspondent for Winestate magazine. She is the author of the best-selling Choosing Australian Wines, and a former president of the Victorian Wine Press Club.
Charmaine Grieger is an award-winning, Adelaide-based photographer. She specialises in wine industry images.