Women in wine at Ballandean Estate (from left) Robyn Puglisi-Henderson, Robyn Robertson, Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi and Mary Puglisi.
Women in wine at Ballandean Estate (from left) Robyn Puglisi-Henderson, Robyn Robertson, Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi and Mary Puglisi. Contributed

New vineyard manager starts at top regional winery

A TOP winery in the Granite Belt has appointed a new vineyard manager after wooing her across from a competitor.

Robyn Robertson, who was previously the vineyard manager at Sirromet Wines, will join Ballandean Estate in the Granite Belt.

Ms Robertson, who has 30 years of experience in wine-making, said she was thrilled to be a part of the team at Ballandean.

"I am thrilled to be at Ballandean Estate, the Puglisi family has welcomed me into their fold," she said.

"When I heard that there was an opening, the opportunity to learn in the presence of Queensland's father of wine Angelo Puglisi was just too good to pass up.

"Ballandean Estate has a rich history of empowered women in wine.

"At just 19 years of age, estate matriarch and wine pioneer Mary Puglisi visualised opening a cellar door and being the catalyst for Queensland's Barossa and Hunter Valley on the Granite Belt with husband Angelo Puglisi."

Ms Robertson enters the business during its latest vintage and a challenging season, with the Girraween bushfires blazing.

But she said some of the varieties of wine flavours and styles on offer at Ballandean made it an exciting job.

"Sirromet's founder Tony Morris was really supportive of the move across to Ballandean and the chance for me to pursue my viticultural passion. One of the Sirromet properties I managed was my family property," Ms Robertson said.

"Nurturing Ballandean Estate's Strange Birds was another drawcard, as the grapes at Sirromet are mainly traditional varieties.

"Fiano, Saperavi, Malbec, Durif, Tempranillo, Viognier - so many new challenges.

"I am most excited about the Durif 2020 vintage - it is such a temperamental Strange Bird, as it produces a heavy crop."

According to study by the Curtin Graduate School of Business, women make up just 10 per cent of the workforce in the wine industry, and representation was even lower in senior roles.



Support dries up for small-scale wine producers

premium_icon Support dries up for small-scale wine producers

Why you can't find Granite Belt wine in Warwick

Which Southern Downs farmer should win Farmer of the Year?

Which Southern Downs farmer should win Farmer of the Year?

Help celebrate the hard work of our region's battlers

Disadvantaged children burst into tears over labour of love

premium_icon Disadvantaged children burst into tears over labour of love

How Warwick Lions are creating safety nets to help turn lives around