Australia’s top women winemakers

For any new movement to be ignited it takes someone brave to start the fire. Pam Dunsford did much to pave the way for women winemakers in Australia.

Pam Dunsford opened the cellar door for women in the Australian wine trade. Photo credit: Milton Wordley

The chief winemaker of Chapel Hill in the McLaren Vale for 19 vintages, Dunsford was the first woman to be accepted into Roseworthy Agricultural College, back in 1972 as a spunky 22-year-old, where she studied alongside 180 men.

During her interview, she was warned that no one would employ her as a winemaker as a woman wasn’t able to do the job. She went on to become the first female chief winemaker of an Australian estate and one of the first female wine judges on the competition circuit.

Today, women hold some of the most highly respected roles in Australian winemaking, from Vanya Cullen at Cullen and Louisa Rose at Yalumba to Sarah Crowe at Yarra Yering, who are helping to shape Australia’s fine wine narrative towards fresh, elegant, terroir-driven expressions.

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