We’re celebrating the women in wine this International Women’s Day and the spotlight is on our talented female winemakers and producers from across the globe. Find out more about the women producing a number of our top selling, quality wines.
Jo Nash, McPherson Wines
Jo joined McPherson Wines in Victoria Australia in 2011 after graduating. Since then, she has gone on to produce great value and quality tasting wines which are sold globally. She’s been awarded numerous trophies and accolades for her generous, elegantly crafted wines.
One of our most popular reds, The Full Fifteen, is a beautiful creation by Jo and assistant winemaker, Olivia Forbes. The pair have created a black red that’s velvety smooth and immensely drinkable from day one. If a creamy white wine is more to your taste, Jo is the talent behind the exotic McPherson Aquarius Marsanne Viognier.
She’s also married to a winemaker, and in their spare time they make small batch wine at home, enlisting their four children to help pick the grapes and stomp on them with their bare feet.
Sofia Barbanera, Barbanera Estate
Sofia is a bubbly, smiley, charming character, and has been full-time winemaker at the Barbanera estate since 2010. She was raised on the family property, always playing in the vineyards and the cellar, and helping her grandparents with the wine. After growing up around wine, she then went on to study viticulture and winemaking at university and after graduating, gained experience at the renowned Poliziano estate in Tuscany.
The family own two Tuscan cellars, as well as renting space in a cellar in Puglia. Sofia enjoys experimenting in her winemaking. Sangiovese is her favourite grape and is one of the three used in the carefully crafted and award winning Saracosa. We always look forward to trying her new vintage of the Super Tuscan star!
Nadia Johnson, Newton Johnson Family Vineyard
Nadia and husband Gordon are the winemaking duo at Newton Johnson Family Vineyards and between them have experience of over 30 vintages. She is from 6 generations of growers – from Robertson. Nadia read oenology and viticulture at Stellenbosch, did two years winemaking in Constantia, then joined the team at Gordon’s family winery but has also gained experience in Marlborough, Cuvaison in Napa, Sichel in Bordeaux and in Alsace. Their Chardonnay is truly exceptional!
Emma Norbiato, Westend Estate
With over 20 years’ experience in winemaking across multiple fine wine regions, Emma has been Chief Winemaker at Westend Estate since 2018 and is responsible for the much-loved Yarrunga Field Special Reserve White.
She’s been known to produce great quality and trendy wines and her winemaking skills have not gone unnoticed. In 2016 she was awarded was ‘Winemaker of the Year’ in the Australian Women in Wine Awards and was a finalist for Gourmet Travellers 2019 ‘Winemaker of the Year’.
Joana Lopes, Quinta do Casal Branco
Joanna is the fourth generation of her family who have been involved in wine and has been a winemaker at Quinta do Casal Branco since 2013. She was brought up in the Alentejo region of Portugal, in a family of vine growers. After helping as a child, her interests grew and Joana went on to study agronomy at the University of Lisbon, following it with a masters in oenology.
Now, the young and talented winemaker is behind our rich, mouthfilling Lobo e Falcão. Joana makes this red specially for us, blending Syrah with Portugal’s exciting native grapes. It’s made at a 17th century estate owned by the Lobo de Vasconcellos family, once the location of the king’s falconry.
Lorena Deaconu, The Iconic Estate
With more than 20 years of experience, Lorena Deaconu is a true master in the winemaking world. She’s chief winemaker at Romania’s Iconic Estate and makes all our current Paris Street and La Catina wines. As well as that, Lorena makes the very popular and award winning Burebista Shiraz Feteasca Neagra.
When talking to Lorena about her job, her passion for winemaking shines through like a beacon. She truly loves what she does, despite the 17-hour days during harvest and wouldn’t do anything else. “What other job lets you travel worldwide, meet new friends and interesting people. Wine is a good friend of mine.”
US born Nicole McPheeters has taken southwest France to her heart and is making exciting and truly authentic wines. Despite her youth, she has put in plenty of vintages all over the world, adding a bright New World touch to winemaking.
After studying in the US, Australia and Argentina, she became a ‘flying winemaker’, covering two vintages a year – one in the southern hemisphere and one in the north. And in the summer of 2018, she found herself in Fronton, working a vintage in the local co-op. When she first arrived, she spent some time in Toulouse, enjoying long, golden evenings drinking the excellent local rosé crafted with the local grape, Négrette. This inspired her to craft her own beguiling blush, Violette de Mireval.
Whilst we couldn’t give a special shoutout to all of the women in wine we have the pleasure of working alongside, we’re raising a glass to every women in the wine industry, inspiring and achieving incredible things each day!