The Proust Q&A: Louisa Rose

One of Australia’s top winemakers, Louisa Rose joined Yalumba in 1993, becoming chief winemaker in 2006. During her time at the Barossa Valley estate, she has put her faith in Viognier via the likes of The Virgilius Viognier, which has helped to put quality Australian Viognier on the map. Known for her attention to detail, Rose has also been instrumental in the development of Riesling at the estate.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A quiet night with friends and family full of good food and great wine.

What is your greatest fear? 

Drought.

Who do you most admire?

American President Barack Obama.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Designer handbags.

What is your current state of mind? 

Calm – perhaps it’s the calm before the storm.

What is the quality you most like in a man? 

It’s not one quality that makes anyone, it’s all the qualities put together, and you know it’s perfect when you just want to spend time with them.

Who or what is the greatest love of your life?

Warren, my partner of 22 years and 23 vintages!

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

To be a shape that clothes off the rack fitted without having to be altered.

Where would you most like to live?

I could live in many places around the world. Every time I travel, I find places that I feel at home in, but the Barossa Valley is a very special place and I can’t imagine moving from here.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’d like to be able to sit at the piano by ear.

What is your most treasured possession?

You think about this in fire season in Australia – what would we take if we had to evacuate – and I never get much further than the dogs.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Maybe I haven’t achieved it yet?

What is your most marked characteristic?

Impatience.

Who are your favorite writers?

Whoever I am reading at the time, but I re-read Jane Austen every year.

Who is your hero of fiction?

Elizabeth Bennet.

What is it that you most dislike?

Wasting time.

What is your greatest regret?

I’m not sure I believe in fate but I do believe in making the most of now and looking forward not back so I try not to waste time with regrets.

Who would be your ideal dinner party guests and what three wines would you serve?

I’m not sure if they would get on with each other, but I’d invite Albert Einstein, Barack Obama and Stephen Fry. As for the wines, we’d begin with an Egon Muller Scharzhofberger Spatlese Riesling and then move on to Yalumba The Virgilius Viognier, ending with Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz to show them what Australian wines are capable of.

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