Thursday, 24 May 2018 11:32

Women in Wine to establish regional committees

Written by  Tessa Nicholson
The National Committee, from left; Patricia Miranda-Taylor, Pragati Thorat, Nicky Grandorge, Kerry Stainton-Herbert, Sarah Szegota, Trudy Shield, Brittney Duval and Katherine Jacobs (Chair). The National Committee, from left; Patricia Miranda-Taylor, Pragati Thorat, Nicky Grandorge, Kerry Stainton-Herbert, Sarah Szegota, Trudy Shield, Brittney Duval and Katherine Jacobs (Chair).

Northland to Central Otago and all wine regions in between are well on the way to establishing regional Women in Wine committees. And the first National Committee meeting has taken place, held in Auckland in February.

Women in Wine NZ coordinator, Nicky Grandorge says a number of objectives have been established, with the goal being to Connect, Inform and Change.

Connect: provide opportunities for women in the New Zealand wine industry to create valuable networks, share successes and ideas.

Provide: valuable information and resources to support and advance the careers of women in the wine industry.

Change: encourage wine industry commitment to the support and advancement of women’s careers.

Yet despite the name of the group, Grandorge is keen to point out, Women in Wine NZ is an inclusive initiative, and men are also invited along to events and workshops.

 She says at the first National Committee a number of issues were raised, by regional representatives, including; as people get older, it is harder for them to be heard, young women have said it is hard to break into some established networks and a common denominator in all regions was that people felt they needed help gaining confidence and assertiveness in their career path within wine.

Some interesting figures have emerged regarding women in wine here in New Zealand. According to stats from NZIER, there are 7350 people working in the New Zealand wine industry and 46 percent of those are women.

In terms of Central Otago, who have undertaken their own survey, women are involved in ownership of 103 of the 120 vineyards in the COWA area. Nine of those 103 were owned by women outright. The region is also home to 18 female winemakers.

Women in Wine NZ is keen to gather more information and gain a wider perspective of the role of women throughout the country.

Grandorge highlighted that more women are taking part in the annual Young Viticulturist and Winemaker competitions, although there is still a long way to go before there is parity in numbers.

In 2017, of the 35 competitors in the Bayer Young Viticulturist, 10 were women. (That is up on 2016, where seven out of 32 were women.) 

In the Tonnellerie de Mercurey Young Winemaker of the year, three of the four finalists in 2017 were women, there have been a total of six female finalists over three years, with two of the overall winners being women.

She is hoping those figures will encourage more young women to have a go at the competitions later this year.

In terms of where to from here, Grandorge says another national committee meeting will take place next month. But she is quick to add they are moving carefully, rather than quickly.

“We are very much in the infancy stage at the moment and we are adamant that we want to ensure we get it right for the future. We want to build a strong, positive community to promote and facilitate the participation and success of women in our industry” 




Sarah Szegota

Villa Maria


Siobhan Wilson

Marisco Vineyards


Florence Bouda

Delegat Limited


Kerry Stainton-Herbert

Stewart Town Vineyard

Central Otago

Janiene Bayliss

ATA Mara

Central Otago

Kirsten Searle

Matawhero Wines


Kate Radburnd

Radburnd Wines

Hawkes Bay

Patricia Miranda-Taylor     

Wither Hills


Pragati Thorat

Paroa Bay Winery Ltd      


Brittney Duval

The Boneline

Waipara, North Canterbury

Katherine Jacobs

Big Sky Wines


Trudy Shield

Middle Earth




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