Australian Wine Lists Look to Diversity

by Jeni Port

For the best part of 31 years I have been judging Australian wine lists for the annual Australian Wine List of the Year Awards.

I have been in the front row of change and I have watched the fall of riesling, the capitulation of chardonnay to sauvignon blanc on lists, followed by its inevitable slow decline. Red wines fared much better on Australian wine lists, although cabernet sauvignon still tends to make up the numbers.

But, in recent years, there has been one growing trend that I have watched with interest and fully applaud: wine lists acknowledging the rise of women winemakers, viticulturists and producers.

It is a heartening sight, especially when you consider the ongoing fight for gender equality in the Australian wine industry and the work of Australian Women In Wine – of which I am an Advisory Board member – drawing attention to serious issues such as equal pay, equal opportunity, sexism in the workplace and more.

Some wine lists note the role of women in the production of wines listed on their menus with the symbol, ♀ Others make note of their role in introductory and tasting notes.

More recently, I have seen some regional restaurants promoting features on their region’s women winemakers. If you are in a wine region, eating at a local restaurant, tasting the local wines, it makes sense to discover more about the people who make the wines, and that definitely includes women.

One Canberra wine list offers a flight of four wines by the 90ml pour made by local women winemakers. Regional restaurants, in particular, take note: this is exactly what is possible and exciting about highlighting an aspect of regional wines.

The Australian wine industry remains a male-dominated industry. Efforts by Australian sommeliers – many of them a new generation of young women – to highlight the exciting diversity that exists in Australian wine and, indeed, the wines of the world.

As one sommelier notes on his list: “Women are paving the way for an inclusive future in wine. Cheers to their fearless spirit and delicious creations. Together, they are uncorking creativity, flavour and a whole lot of fun.”

Well said.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Got a question about the Australian Women in Wine Awards? Send us a message and we'll get back to you ASAP.


©2024 Australian Women in Wine Awards is an initiative of The Fabulous Ladies' Wine Society. All Rights Reserved. 

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?