IWD2023 is all about embracing equity. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. We celebrate by raising a glass to the many talented women working in the Australian wine industry.

Profiling five Accolade Wine award-winning winemakers and industry experts, the women reveal their biggest achievements, why gender equity is important and what positive changes are they working towards. 

Courtney Treacher – Houghton & Brookland Valley Winemaker (pictured above)

Q: What has been your biggest achievement throughout your career/what are you most proud of? 

A: My biggest achievement professionally, and something that I am very proud of is that I have the honour of being the custodian of the Houghton brand. Houghton Wines is a brand with 187 years of history behind it and is always striving to be at the forefront of innovation. Drawing inspiration from the early innovative approaches of Houghton Wines pioneer, Jack Mann, today we are constantly trialing new styles and techniques from winemaking trials to experimenting with different wine styles such as piquette or honing our skills to craft a new premium white wine in our Houghton portfolio.

Penny Jones – Bay of Fires Winemaker and Cellar Door Manager

Q: Why is gender equity important to you and in your role? 

A: I believe that all human beings deserve the same opportunities in life. Yes, people may be built differently, think differently, and operate differently, but those differences should be embraced to enable a stronger and more successful outcome. If we all support each other we can reach bigger goals and be happier in doing so.

Read more: Croser launches new sparkling range

Ella Hoban – House of Arras & Croser Winemaker

Q: How do you think the wine industry could better embrace equity and/or how is the industry already doing so? 

A: Though the wine industry has come a long way and there is definitely more female representation in leadership and managerial roles, there are also areas that could see further improvements to better embrace equity. For example, equal parental leave and equal pay are a couple of things that come to mind, and are essential in reaching equity in the workplace. As I mentioned earlier, while there is a growing representation of women in the wine industry, a broader diversity and continued growth in representation is something I would love to see over the coming years to further embrace equity within the wine industry. 

Accolade Wine IWD2023
L-R: Nicole Brasier, Helen McCarthy, Ella Hoban and Viki Wade.

Viki Wade – Group Commercial Winemaker, Hardys Brand Ambassador

Q: What positive change are you currently working towards and/or what innovation are you driving? 

A: Lighter, low and no alcohol wine is currently gaining a lot of interest – in Australia and globally. It is a way of broadening the wine style offering, not necessarily to attract more people but rather to cater to different consumers’ needs and drinking occasions. For example, a consumer who once enjoyed higher-alcohol wine may now be looking to make healthier choices and interested in a lower-calorie wine without compromising on flavour, mouthfeel and texture. Alternatively, someone who is starting to drink wine may prefer a lighter style, for example, our Swanning Around range, which includes Grenache and Pinot Noir from the Riverland and has been made as soft, fruit-driven, easy-drinking wines that can be served slightly chilled. It’s been really exciting to work on these innovations and it has certainly pushed me out of my comfort zone. I am really pleased with the quality of wines we have crafted.

Helen McCarthy – Director Global & ANZ Premium Winemaking

Q: Thinking about the IWD2023 theme, is there anything else you would like to add, or conversations you would like to see prompted (in the wine industry and beyond)? 

A: I’d like people to think of equity not just with a lens of what we are doing to bridge the gender gap but with a perspective to reduce bias for all members of society. Focusing on one type or side of inequality can be limiting, however, focusing more holistically on all equity would in my mind see us take giant leaps toward a fair and equitable world.

Here are our top picks from the Accolade Wine range to help celebrate IWD2023 

  • Hardys Tintara Shiraz 2021
  • Bay of Fires Pinot Gris
  • Croser NV Sparkling
  • Houghton CW Ferguson Cabernet Malbec