Canberran wins Australian Women in Wine Award

Posted 29 Sep 2017

Story by Her Canberra

Canberra winery owner named winner at the Australian Women in Wine Awards.

Four Winds Vineyard owner Sarah Collingwood has been named the winner of the Australian Women in Wine Awards owner/operator category.

Sarah Collingwood owns and operates the Murrumbateman micro-winery with her husband John and parents Suzanne and Graeme Lunney. While she followed her parents into the industry, Sarah said it had offered her a wonderful career path.

Sarah has managed Four Winds Vineyard for the last seven years. Over the last 24 months she has managed the packaging re-design resulting in two international design awards, secured a new distributor and overseen the financial growth of the vineyard.

Admittedly, laying out vineyards in winter had its moments, but having an office that overlooked hundreds of rows happy and award-winning grapes had certain charms. There were also advantages to working with her husband and parents while raising two small children.

“I think I have a pretty good lifestyle; it all seems to fit together really well,” she says.

Alongside her business responsibilities she has run the 4Tonne Project in 2015 raising over $46,000 for refugees and asylum seekers in Canberra and is the treasurer for the Canberra District Wine Industry Association.

The awards were established in 2015 by The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society to turn the spotlight on female role models and increase gender diversity in the Australian wine industry and are regarded as the industry’s most prominent female industry awards.

In spite of close to equal male and female numbers graduating from university oenology and viticulture courses research shows that females make up less than 10 per cent of the Australian Wine industry. Sarah said that the traditional male-domination of the wine industry was shifting.

“It’s a big ship to turn but I feel it is slowly turning.”

“Women do things differently to men and traditionally they have not received much recognition in the wine world. It is good that that is starting to change, not only so capable women get the recognition they deserve but they can also provide role models for young women coming up through the ranks.

Four Winds Vineyard is part of this weekend’s Murrumbateman Moving Feast.

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