Laura Jewell MW, Wine Australia
Laura is Wine Australia’s Head of Market EMEA, based in Australia House in London. Laura has been in the wine trade for over 25 years. After wine roles at Waverley Vintners, Sainsbury’s, HwCg, Spar and Tesco, Laura joined the generic marketing body for Australian wine in February 2015.
Laura became a Master of Wine in 1997 – she is one of around 350 people in the world to have achieved this top wine qualification. With her broad experience of the industry and clear passion for the product, Laura often appears in ‘Top’ lists of most influential people in the UK drinks trade.
Lucy Clements is the Group Commercial Winemaker at Accolade wines. Lucy graduated as a winemaker in 2002 from the University of Adelaide and worked at St Hallett, Domaine Chandon and Grant Burge in Australia before moving to the UK in 2008 to become Head Winemaker at Chapel Down. From Chapel Down, Lucy then left winemaking to one side for 7 years as she became a Wine Buyer for Waverley, Sainsbury’s and Tesco; buying, blending and travelling to every major wine producing country in the world. With significant buying experience, Lucy was headhunted and returned to her first love, winemaking, at Accolade Wines in 2016 where she is now responsible for 280,000 tonnes of fruit, including making the UK’s number 1 wine brand, Hardys.
A highly experienced and respected winemaker, Samantha Connew launched her Tasmanian solo project, Stargazer, in 2013. Prior to establishing like and her consulting company, Compass Wine Consulting, she was employed in applied research, development and extension for the Australian Wine Research Institute. Before this she was the winemaker of boutique Hunter Valley winery, Tower Estate, after working in McLaren Vale for ten years as Senior Winemaker at Wirra Wirra Vineyards.
Amongst her many achievements, in 2007 she was awarded ‘International Red Winemaker of the Year’ at the International Wine Challenge in London. In 2014 she was appointed Chair of Judges at the Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show, the first female and youngest judge in that position.
Sarah Crowe is the winemaker at Yarra Yering in the Yarra Valley. Sarah began her wine career in 2001 at Brokenwood in the Hunter Valley and has been part in the Future Leaders of the Wine Industry Program as well as being accepted into the prestigious Len Evans Tutorial Program.
Sarah joined the team at Yarra Yering in September 2013 as Winemaker and is excited to be focusing on a single iconic vineyard site. The release of her first wines, the 2014 vintage, saw her named as James Halliday’s Winemaker of the Year 2017 – the first female winemaker to receive this prestigious accolade.
Prue Henschke is the viticulturist and a director of Henschke, the 140 year old family-owned winery in the Eden Valley. She manages 105 hectares of vineyard which extends across the hills between Eden Valley and Lenswood in the Adelaide Hills Wine Region and 72 hectares of conservation land in the gorges of the Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges.
Over her 42 years in the wine industry, she has been involved in research projects both overseas and locally and in the management of the family vineyards. She has been a pioneer with new trellis types and in better soil management techniques using composts and mulches, leading to the adoption of organic and biodynamic practices. Prue has been active on a number of industry groups such as the Adelaide Hills Vine Improvement as Chair, Australian Vine Improvement Inc. as Acting Chair, the Adelaide Hills Wine Region Viticultural Technical Committee, and the Barossa Water Allocation Plan Advisory Committee and is a strong campaigner for environmental issues.
Virginia Willcock is the Chief Winemaker at Margaret River’s founding wine estate, Vasse Felix, where she joined as Chief Winemaker in October, 2006.
Multi-award-winning across Australia and the USA and a respected authority on Margaret River winemaking, Virginia has represented the region as presenter and panellist of numerous international media and trade conventions and masterclasses, in addition to being a sought-after regional wine show judge. She also served on the board of the Margaret River Wine Industry Association for several years. Virginia has completed over 25 vintages in Margaret River, and worked international vintages in Albania, Italy and New Zealand.