Barossa’s Leading Ladies
Winemaking has always had a reputation as a bit of a boys’ club, but add to this the Barossa’s tradition of multi-generational businesses and strong Lutheran heritage and it’s easy to see why only a few strong matriarchs ever made their mark. Times, however, have changed. Ladies are taking the lead in every aspect of the wine industry.
Some have championed new varieties and wine styles, such as Louisa Rose’s work with Viognier and Riesling – which ultimately provided a path to modernity for white wine in the Barossa. Chief Winemaker at Yalumba, and with an almost embarrassing string of awards to her name, Louisa is also heavily involved in the wine show circuit and promoting the region.
Prue Henschke is internationally respected, not simply as part of the famous Henschke winemaking dynasty, but more so as a viticultural expert in her own right. Prue is also a leading light in the field of vineyard organics and biodynamics; passionate about her role in protecting the environment and the future of the region.
Although now retired, Margaret Lehmann continues to be an inspiration to many. In her 40-odd years in the Barossa, the co-founder of Peter Lehmann Wines has seen feast and famine in the wine industry several times over; relying in her faith in community, and family, to get them through.
Along with Margaret, Jan Angas was instrumental in founding the Barossa Food organisation, and is a past Chair of the group – just one of her many contributions to the region’s food and wine culture. Jan her husband John run the family’s Hutton Vale mixed farm and winery, which has now been in the Angas family for seven generations.
Meanwhile, internationally-celebrated cook and food author Maggie Beer has put the Barossa on the culinary map, and her food empire continues to showcase some of the high quality, locally-grown and made gourmet produce the Barossa has to offer.
The next generation of Barossa wine women are squaring up every challenge, but still maintaining their contributions to the regional community. Young winemakers are moving into the Barossa to build new brands, daughters are preparing to take over the reins at the family firm, and women are now in unique positions of responsibility with some of the most established companies in the region. Watch this space over the next few weeks as we bring you a series of short interviews with the Barossa’s new class of leading ladies.