Meet the makers

Celebrate International Women's Day

Meet Australia's best female brewers, winemakers and distillers at the ultimate festival!

Celebrate International Women's Day with Australian and NZ's finest brewers, winemakers and distillers at a two-day festival celebrating women in Beer, Wine and Spirits.

You'll enjoy:

Free tastings from all the producers

Stemless glass

Entertainment and more

 

Also available for purchase:

Masterclasses

Beer, wine and spirits by the glass or bottle

Food and snacks

 

When:

Session 1:  Friday 8 March (5pm - 9pm)

Session 2:  Saturday 9 March (11am - 3pm)

Session 3:  Saturday 9 March (5pm - 9pm)

 

Where:  Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh

 

Cost: 

Cellarmasters Rewards and Woolworths Rewards price: from $37.50 (when you multi-buy)

General Admission: from $45 (when you multi-buy)

 

Here are some of the female brewers, winemakers and distillers you will get to meet...

Gwyn Olsen, Gwyn Olsen Wines & Briar Ridge, Hunter Valley

Gwyn received the prestigious Gourmet Traveller Wine’s Young Winemaker Medal in 2014, and is a rising star of the Australian wine industry. Gwyn studied Oenology at Roseworthy University in Adelaide, graduating in 2005, completing her first vintage in France, with a further six in New Zealand, and three in the Hunter Valley. In late 2015, Gwyn became the Head Winemaker for the well-known Briar Ridge and Peppertree Wines based in the Hunter Valley.

Jo Gear, Ribbon Hills, New Zealand

After working as a cellar hand in Hawke’s Bay, Jo completed her post-graduate diploma in Viticulture and Oeneology at Lincoln University in Christchurch. In 2001, she joined New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc pioneers Matua Valley wines. She was soon promoted to winemaker, and even took part in a vintage in California’s Napa Valley. Jo joined New Zealand Wine Society in 2005 as its resident winemaker, and has since been making exceptional wines. She has also been an Associate Wine Judge at the Air NZ Wine Awards.

Sarah Pidgeon, Wynns Coonawarra Estate, Coonawarra

Sarah Pidgeon grew up in a wine-loving family in Armidale, NSW, and went onto study winemaking at Roseworthy Campus in South Australia. Vintages in Margaret River, Swan Valley, Napa, Coonawarra, Griffith, and Paso Robles cemented Sarah’s love of Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1998 she was appointed winemaker at Wynns Coonawarra Estate, and has since won several accolades for the estate, including Winemaker of the Year at the 2016 Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology Awards for Excellence – sharing this award with colleague Sue Hodder.

Alexia Roberts, Penny’s Hill, McLaren Vale 

At the tender age of 16, Alexia undertook some work experience at the Penfolds winery in Barossa, and she hasn’t looked back since! After studying winemaking, she completed vintages in Italy and France. She found her home in South Australia’s picturesque McLaren Vale, where she has been the Group Winemaker at Penny’s Hill since 2013. She has won an array of accolades for the estate, including World’s Best Cabernet at France’s Concours International des Cabernets and the Best Australian Red in Show two years running at Mundus Vini in Germany.

Julie Montgomery, Avon Brae, Eden Valley

Born in Northern Ireland but relocated to country South Australia as a child, Julie majored in Microbiology at University, then morphed careers from winery lab technician to award-winning winemaker. The meticulousness that saw Julie excel in the field of science has also stood her in good stead in the fields! Julie creates wines that are distinctive in their character, displaying wonderful aromatics, elegance, complexity and finesse.

Janelle Zerk, Z Wines, Barossa Valley

Z Wine is the partnership of sisters Janelle (winemaking) and Kristen Zerk (marketing), whose heritage dates back five generations at the Zerk vineyard in Lyndoch, Barossa Valley (on which they grew up). Janelle studied winemaking at Adelaide University, and has vintage experience in Puligny Montrachet, Tuscany and Sonoma Valley. Z Wines has a five star winery rating from James Halliday, and continue to impress wine writers and wine shows. 

Sally Blackwell, South Australia/New Zealand

Sally obtained a science degree in microbiology/biochemistry at ANU in 1977, and worked in medical research for three years, but did not enjoy using animals as guinea pigs. After moving to the Barossa in 1981, Sally put her science skills to good use as a wine lab technician at Dorrien Estate. At the same time, she started studied winemaking, and joined the Dorrien Estate winemaking team as a winemaker in 2000. She enjoys winemaking because she can use people as guinea pigs.

Rosie Signer, Heirloom Vineyards, Barossa Valley 

Born and bred in Washington State USA, Rosie studied winemaking in her home country and made wine around the globe before landing on the purple patch of South Australia in 2010. Captivated by her adopted nation’s old vine vineyards, Rosie was soon appointed winemaker at Heirloom Vineyards. Some of her accolades for Heirloom include Best Shiraz and Best Wine of Show in Barossa 2015, Chairman’s Trophy for Best Wine McLaren Vale Wine Show 2017, Best Shiraz and Worlds Best Red Wine IWC Vienna 2017.

Nicole Samodol, Rowlee Wines, Orange 

Nicole started her career working in hospitality and tourism in Melbourne. During this time, she immersed herself with the wonderful world of wine, and became a member of the Victorian Sommeliers Association. She founded Rowlee Wines in 2013 in Orange, where she makes wines from a single vineyard, specialising in cool climate wines including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling.

Elena Brooks, Dandelion Vineyards, Barossa Valley 

Elena Brooks is the Chief Winemaker and CEO of Dandelion Vineyards, the wine company she created, controls and catapulted into critical acclaim worldwide in just 10 released vintages. Elena, native of Bulgaria, trained in Australia and is regularly recognised as not just of Australia’s best, but one of the world’s leading wine producers as her single site Dandelion Vineyard wines continually set new benchmarks.

Janiene Bayliss, Ata Mara, New Zealand

As the director of Ata Mara Vineyard, Janiene is dedicated to producing elegant Pinot Noir and cool climate aromatic white wines from Central Otago. She has been in the wine industry for nearly 20 years. She has founded the group Women in Wine (WIW) in Central Otago (200 members), and the main objective was to raise the profile of women in the industry, facilitate change, and support other women. 

Josephine Perry, Dormilona, Margaret River

Josephine Perry studied her degree in Oenology by correspondence through Charles Sturt University, which gave her the opportunity to work abroad extensively. Jo spent seven years managing two wineries in Spain, and has completed vintages in France and harvest in California and New Zealand. She is the founder of Dormilona, a boutique winery specialising in natural wines. 

Jaz Wearin, Modus Operandi, Mona Vale

A six month-trip to USA inspired beer lover Jaz Wearin and her husband Grant to start their own brewery in Sydney's Northern Beaches in 2014. Just three months in to operating the business, they won numerous prestigious accolades, including Champion Australian Beer at the 2014 Australian Craft Beer Awards. Jaz, a country girl who’s always liked beer, is passionate about creating craft brews that capture the imagination – and taste buds – of beer lovers.

Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen, Two Birds Brewing 

These Two Birds are trailblazers within the industry, and founded Australia’s first female owned brewing company in 2011. Having been friends for almost 10 years, it was a trip to USA, during which they visited several craft beer breweries, that inspired the duo to take a leap of faith and start their own brewery – and the rest is beer history. Today, Jayne and Danielle make award-winning craft brews from their brewery in Spotswood, Melbourne.

Claudia Roughley, Underground Spirits, Canberra

Underground Spirits was founded in 2017, and specialises in crafting premium spirits made in small batches with the highest quality, using a unique process called cryofiltration. As its CEO, mum of two Claudia is passionate about maintaining the innovative spirit of Underground Spirits, while ensuring its premium products are enjoyed by an international audience.

Ally Ayres, Karu Distillery

Ally is the co-owner and Head Distiller of Karu, a boutique spirits distiller in the Devils Wilderness outside Sydney. Ally was inspired to start distilling by a love for creativity, and creates gins with a full sensory experience that reflect her motto that a drink should never be boring. At only 27 years of age, Ally is one of the youngest co-owners and Head Distiller of a spirits brand in the country. 

Victoria Angove, Angove Family Winemakers

Victoria Angove is joint Managing Director of her family’s business, Angove Family Winemakers in McLaren Vale. Together with her brother Richard, she is committed to driving the family business forward, having taken over the role from their father John in January 2017. Victoria is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and additionally serves as a Director of Australian Grape and Wine.

Sarah Watson, Blending and Innovation Manager for Bundaberg Rum

Sarah grew up in Scotch Whisky country before deciding to escape the cold weather and travel Australia where she fell in love with the Australian way of life. After completing an Honour’s and Master’s degree in Science and many years working in the scientific field, Sarah decided to move to Bundaberg and use her talents to craft award winning rum. Today, Sarah is the Blending and Innovation Manager at Bundaberg Rum and has been responsible for crafting rums that have been recognised at the highest level at the World Rum Awards including World’s Best Gold Rum (2016), World’s Best Dark Rum (2016/ 2017) and World’s Best Rum (2016).

Harriet Leigh, Head of Hospitality, Archie Rose Distilling Co

With 20 years experience in hospitality, Harriet is now recognised as one of the leaders in the industry and a force in promoting and supporting women in hospitality. She has scooped up awards including Australia’s Top 25 Bartenders, nominated Australia’s Top Bar Manager and picked up arguably the most prestigious peer awarded honour – the Gregor De Gruythor MVP Legend Of The Year Award. She contributes to industry publications providing comment on trends and issues and has spoken on stage at All About Women at Sydney Opera House as well as Coleman’s Academy, a not for profit focusing on empowering and inspiring women in hospitality.

Laura Carter, Applewood Distillery

It turns out Laura is a master of many talents. As well as producing incredible local wine, Laura’s branched off into the wonderful world of gin, studying indigenous produce and incorporating unique native flavours into her craft. Using ingredients like desert lime, peppermint gum leaf, wild thyme and macadamia (and this is just scratching the surface), Laura’s creating and crafting her own unique story and flavour through Applewood’s many gins and liqueurs. 

Katie Lovis, Giniversity, Margaret River

Katie is the Head Distiller at Giniversity, part of Margaret River Distilling Co. Katie is passionate about using locally sourced botanicals to create premium quality, delicate and unique gins reflective of the region while also pushing the boundaries of gin production. From Giniversity’s award-winning Giniversity Botanical Gin which showcases Eucalypt, Sandalwood, Boronia and Lemon Myrtle to the Margaret River Red Wine Barrel Aged Gin, Katie is always looking for local and unique produce to incorporate into the botanical profile.

More brewers, winemakers and distillers to be announced soon!