LEADING THE WAY: Ballandean Estate's Robyn Puglisi-Henderson, Robyn Robertson, Mary Puglisi and Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi.
LEADING THE WAY: Ballandean Estate's Robyn Puglisi-Henderson, Robyn Robertson, Mary Puglisi and Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi. Matthew Purcell

Women leading the way at wine estate

BALLANDEAN Estate continues to break new ground with the appointment of a female vineyard manager, Robyn Robertson, former vineyard manager at Sirromet Wines.

She brings over 30 years of viticulture expertise to the estate, and has spent her entire life on the land at Ballandean.

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

Her position is made even more impressive when, despite gender-equal enrolments in wine and viticulture courses, women make up less than 10 per cent of the wine industry workforce

"Ballandean Estate has a rich history of empowered women in wine. Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi was recently voted onto the Winemaker's Federation board, and is Queensland's first female voice and vote.

"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.

"Angelo's mother Josephine was a true Australian pioneer and business woman.

Arriving in Australia from Sicily at just 12 years of age, she went on to build the foundation of Ballandean Estate with her father and husband over four decades.

"Every day is different at Ballandean Estate.

"I spend a lot of time with Angelo on the vineyards. Such a privilege to work with a master viticulturist. It is in his blood and mine,” Robyn said.

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