Celebrating Women in Wine | International Women's Day 2019

To mark International Women’s Day on Friday 8 March, we’re profiling some of the amazing women in wine that we work with.




Juliane Eller, 28 years old, is a talented young woman responsible for the creation of JuWel wines from Rheinhessen. Juliane did not always dream about becoming a famous winemaker. She used to picture herself as a professional athlete, but sometimes fate dictates otherwise.
She had her revelation while doing an internship at Klaus Peter Keller’s winery, neighbours of her parents. She then went on to make the wisest choice she ever made in her opinion, deciding to study oenology and winemaking at the institute of Geisenheim. Once she graduated, she came back home and told her parents she had great plans for their vineyard. She made drastic changes, turning her parents’ wines into hand-harvested noble crus and designed her own line : the JuWel wines.
Juliane sees the grapes as raw stones, her job consisting in revealing their glare, each wine being a beautiful JuWel. She creates incredibly bright wines. She is part of those young, ambitious and talented winemakers that is making sparks in Germany.




Tamra Kelly-Washington is a dynamic and busy woman. Mother of two children and creator of her own wines, she is also Head Winemaker at Seresin Estate in New Zealand.

Tamra grew up in Marlborough where she experienced the viticulture explosion and developed a deep love for wine. She started showing interest for wine at a very young age, spending her school holidays working in winery restaurants and vineyards. She then went to Lincoln University, where she studied Oenology and Viticulture.Her very first position after graduating was in the laboratory of Seresin Estate! She then worked all around the world, in Australia, the United-States, Italy, Tunisia… before returning home to Marlborough, as Head Winemaker at Yealands, and back to Seresin in 2018.
Tamra has a rich and diverse background that she built thanks to her travels, strong personality and skills. She has a modern approach and has already started to make her mark at Seresin, experimenting with amphoras and whole pinot noir bunches as a start.

Her passion for wine comes with a deep sensitivity for the planet and a strong desire to create wines from organic and biodynamic grapes. Owner Michael Seresin is certain that with Tamra at the Estate, a New World winery with an Old World approach, her extensive and worldly experience will contribute greatly to the evolution of their wines.




Born and raised in a small New Zealand country town, Brigette Rodda studied a degree in viticulture and oenology at Lincoln University in Canterbury. She has perfected her craft in some incredible places including Martinborough, Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough, Canberra, Western Australia, California and now, proudly, Great Western.
Brigette believes winemaking is the perfect marriage of science and creativity and is committed to crafting delicious wines that people that can enjoy. She loves the craze and excitement of vintage each year and is thrilled to have joined Best's Great Western for V19 and beyond.





German in heritage but gypsy at heart, Julia Weirich completed a masters in industrial engineering in her homeland before setting out on a dream backpacking tour of South East Asia and Australia in 2012. Already with a curious interest in wine, she landed a job at Fesq & Company and over the following years fell deeper in love with wine and embarked on further study. After a few years Julia took a sabbatical, working vintage all over the world, honing her skills in wineries including Bass Phillip in Australia, Yealands in New Zealand, Le Grappin in Burgundy and Mulderbosch in South Africa.
Upon her return to Australia in 2017, she set out on a plan to make wine for herself. She teamed up with Simon Cowham and Corey Ryan of Sons of Eden, known to her through her work at Fesq, to help realise her wine adventure in the Barossa. So was born Brave Souls Wines, her first exciting winemaking project producing Shiraz, GSM and Riesling. She now leads this project as well as the newly released Le Bon Wines in partnership with Charles Smedley of Mandala. All this in addition to managing Fesq & Company’s European Wine program!
Julia is a woman of great passion ambition and infectious joy. We’re so glad she chose Australia as her home!




At the foundation of Moss Wood's distinguished reputation is the meticulous approach of one of the most conscientious and hardest working people in wine we know. Clare Mugford came to Margaret River from a professional background starting in banking and then as a Registered Nurse and Royal Perth Hospital. And when she came to wine she mastered it all, while also raising four children. Every aspect of grape growing, winemaking and business at Moss Wood is ruled with a passionate exactness and a quest for excellence. We see this in the resulting wines vintage after vintage and in all aspects of our work with the winery. There is no compromise on quality, ever.

What also makes Clare a great partner of ours, is her genuine care and love for each and every Moss Wood drinker. Loyalty is at the core of the business.

In a mostly male-dominated wine industry, women like Clare with diligence, tireless work-ethic and strong values are invaluable leaders and role-models for both men and women.



The women at SOHO are at the top of their game, creating a truly contemporary wine brand through their powerful creative and marketing savvy. Founder Rachael Carter shows us how today’s brands must embrace their passions and use their creativity to deliver strong messages about who you are. SOHO Wines do just that. They embody style and quality inspired by a love of fashion and design. And they use their creative skills to promote causes they care about. 

Rachael and the mostly-female team at SOHO Wine have cleverly created a wine brand that is “not just another Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc”. They are bold, brave and have pushed boundaries in what can be an industry dominated by tradition and heritage. That’s girl power!





This March, Leeuwin Estate celebrated its 35th annual concert as well as 50 years since the Horgan family purchased the property, then a cattle farm at the time. Leeuwin’s matriarch Trish Horgan and her daughter and now co-CEO Simone Furlong are driving forces of the success of this world-renowned winery. As the co-founder of Leeuwin Estate with her husband, and the former Managing Director of the company, Trish was a pioneer for the region, establishing one of the five founding wineries of Margaret River. During this time in the 1970s there was little infrastructure in the area and these early founders really were the visionaries of the region’s potential and trailblazers of the success that was to come. Today, Simone leads the business alongside her brother with a professionalism and commitment to great quality that continually builds on this path of great accomplishment. 

The mentorship along the generations of women at Leeuwin continues today, with Simone’s daughter Lucy also now working in the family business. It’s a legacy of leadership, passion and skillful management by women who have always played as vital a role in company success as the men that stand alongside them.