I had the privilege of learning about wine initially through my father in our family hotel in country South Australia. For some time I worked there cooking, learning about the world of wine and food, meeting wine industry representatives and managing the hotel. Food and wine was a part of all our family’s lives. My brother went on to open the first Australian bar in Paris and one of my sisters opened the first Australian restaurant in Sydney at Woolloomooloo.
My early career away from home started in the 80s, in sales and marketing at the Intercontinental and at Chateau Commodore hotels around Australia. This gave me the opportunity to create food and wine menus with matching wines for events, something I loved doing. Later, with Best Cellars Wines I discovered European wines and was able to learn a great deal about them at our high end wine cellar in the Rocks in Sydney. I ran the party and events part of their company and once again I got the chance to do wine matching for all sorts of events. I also worked with Master of Wine Don Perry, learning much about the sensory evaluation of wine.
With my interest in wine piqued I returned home to South Australia to Roseworthy Agricultural College, where the majority of today’s most respected winemakers in Australia trained. I studied Wine Marketing covering Winemaking, Viticulture, Sensory Evaluation, Economics and Marketing. During that time I met many students who went on to be famous wine industry personalities.
During my study I had hands-on experience at Wirra Wirra winery in McLaren Vale, working in all aspects of the business. The winemaker Ben Riggs was very helpful during that time, honing my sensory evaluation of the wines and winemaking skills. I worked also for the McLaren Vale Winemakers Association as my expertise developed, judging amateur wine shows, assisting with sales and marketing and serving on committees to plan food and wine events.
My work with the South Australian Tourism Commission and the Wine and Brandy Corporation gave me further experience as I hosted journalists and food and wine writers. However with so many things in my life I eventually had to make a choice! I decided to concentrate on my own business, conducting wine tours and sharing my love of wine with others.
Wine is such a personal experience there is always more to learn. My journey continues as I travel overseas regularly to the wine regions of the world visiting Italy, France, Chile and Argentina and American wine regions, with a visit to Spain coming up shortly. I have been lucky enough to be able to turn my passion for food and wine into a successful career. I owe thanks to the many wine personalities who I have worked with over the years and who are now my friends. They continue to teach me a great deal on all aspects of winemaking and viticulture that I am now able to share with my many guests.
Food and Wine Courses
Memberships and Associations