IWD 2023: Raising a Glass to Amazing Women in Wine
IWD 2023: Raising a Glass to Amazing Women in Wine

Join us as we raise our glasses to these winegrowing, winemaking, and wine-slingin’ pioneers

International Women’s Day (IWD) is on the 8th of March. International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate women’s achievements!

Supporting and promoting female-led wineries inspires the next generation of women winemakers and creates a brighter, more inclusive future for all. Join us as we raise our glasses to these winegrowing, winemaking, and wine-slingin’ pioneers. Share their stories, recommend their wines and wine venues to our mates, and toast to progress and equality in the wine industry.

Here are just a few leading women in wine and where to find them.

Selina Kelly

Bondar: Owner/Marketer/Chief Taster

Selina began working as a lawyer but soon realised the suit didn’t suit! Selina changed gears, started her wine career at Hentley Farm in the Barossa, and became Marketing Manager for Yangarra and the new Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard label. Interestingly, Selina and her husband, Andrew, do not have any family history in winemaking or vineyards. Still, they have sought it out as their own passion, which is all the more impressive given their meteoric rise!

Yoko Luscher-Mostert

Brave New Wines: Owner/Designer/Wine Co-conspirator

Yoko and Andries ‘do the thing!’ They chip away at convention to make, as glistening labels suggest, brave new wines! From spiking pet nats with honey and fermenting native botanicals to making chill-friendly quaff-adjacent reds. These are the kinds of antics that keep things fresh each vintage, only matched by Yoko’s novel/edgy label designs. Wines that taste good and, importantly, make you feel good in the process. Riot Girl!

Nicole Samodol

Rowlee Wines: Owner/Winemaker/President of the Orange Vignerons Association

Nicole's boutique winery sits up high in the Orange wine region of New South Wales and it’s here that she creates lively and cool-climate wines that capture the essence of ancient soils. But she isn’t your average winemaker – many dream of escaping the drudgery of corporate life, but Nicole actually did it! But her business degree and MBA haven’t gone to waste. Today, Nicole uses her business savvy as president of the Orange Vignerons Association, where she tirelessly works to put Orange on the map as a growing wine region.

Tessa Brown

Vignerons Schmölzer & Brown: Owner/Viticulturalist/Winemaker

Former Young Gun of Wine finalists 2016, still young and still a guns, are Tessa Brown and Jeremy Schmölzer. Tessa grew up on a sugarcane farm in sunny Queensland and has progressively sought colder weather ever since. First in Wagga Wagga to study Viti and Oenology at CSU, then vintages New Zealand, Italy and Spain, as well as in Orange and for Shaw + Smith and Wolf Blass in South Australia. I doubt Queensland Tessa would have ever imagined settling in one of the coldest wine regions in Australia. Today she’s 800m up in Whitlands, of northeast Victoria, cranking some of the most delicious Pinot and Chardy we’ve ever come across! Only up from here, figuratively speaking, that is!

Bridget Raffal

Somm at Where’s Nick Wine Bar – co-found Women and Revolution/ Vice President Sommelier’s Australia

The long list of credentials speaks volumes, but let’s add that: two-time winner of the Sommelier’s Choice Award. Coveted three hats, as the head somm at Sixpenny. And this year, she was also named sommelier of the year by the Good Food Guide! No doubt thanks to her curation at Where’s Nick Wine Bar but also her contribution as Vice president of Sommelier’s Australia and charity Women and Revolution.

The more we chat and brag about wines with women at the helm, the more inspiring role models we create for the next generation. And if you enjoyed this list and want to find more leading ladies in the drinks industry, follow this ever-expanding list of female winemakers, viticulturists, brewers and distillers compiled by Women and Revolution.

Or looking for a great list of wines to pick what you'll sip and celebrate with? Check out this collection of our favourite wines from female producers!

About the Author

Roger Ta is a qualified somm who’s retired his ‘Hospo Docs’ for vintage boots and a keyboard. After a season in Barossa, and years in award-winning venues, his main focus is writing and pursuing vintages. A consummate student of wine with a passion for disseminating wine knowledge for all.

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