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22 February 2024

Get to know our female winemakers.

In recognition of International Women's Day, we commemorate our female winemakers.

Get to know our female winemakers.

Jo Perry – Dormilona

Josephine Perry started fermenting things at a young age – helping her grandfather make beer in the backyard after school. It clearly kickstarted a career that took her to Spain and beyond before deciding to settle in Margaret River with her young family. Dormilona – which means ‘lazy bones’ in Spanish, was born in 2012 with quality organic fruit and minimal intervention in the winery driving the concept.

Jo has a modern yet traditional approach to winemaking, working with classic varieties from Margaret River and Swan Valley to produce contemporary wines with a sense of energy and freshness. One of the first in the region to experiment with clay and concrete, Jo is firmly considered one of the innovators of the industry with a slew of awards to back her up.

Kim Tyrer – Galafrey

Kim Tyrer is a second-generation winemaker, taking over the family property at the age of 25 from her late father Ian in 2003. Kim has a tireless nature and has been producing utterly delicious wines that we love to share. We particularly love the barrel fermented Riesling and whole bunch Shiraz that thrive in the dry grown Mount Barker vineyard.

Kim is one of a handful of winemakers in Australia to produce Müller-Thurgau – a dry white varietal that was created in 1882 by Dr. Herman Müller. We recommend it in Long Chim, as we think it’s the perfect wine for spice!

Cath Oates – Oates Ends

After an international winemaking career that took her all over the globe, Cath returned to the family farm in Wilyabrup and began producing elegant and pure expressions from the ‘Wilagri’ vineyard her parents planted in 1999. Cath is incredibly passionate about sustainable farming with both Oates Ends and Wilagri Vineyard members of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia.

When she’s not making wine, Cath is busy riding her beautiful horses, chasing her Labradors around and battling combing a grumpy goat called ‘Fonz’.

Vanya Cullen – Cullen Wines

Vanya is a woman who needs no introduction. As the youngest daughter of Kevin and Diana Cullen, she has been part of the Margaret River winery all her life. Her dedication to the legacy of her family and the land shines through every choice; from naming the wines to the transformation of the vineyard to one the most environmentally sustainable in the country. It was her mum, Diana Madeline who sparked the transition to organic and biodynamic farming in 1998, with biodynamic certification coming in 2004. Vanya was awarded the inaugural Halliday Viticulturist of the Year in 2022, the same year that Cullen Wines celebrated its 50th anniversary. Very auspicious!

Virginia Willcock – Vasse Felix

Since becoming the Chief Winemaker in 2006, Virginia has been at the forefront of both classic and innovative Margaret River winemaking. Vasse Felix has such an incredible and storied history and under her direction, the wines have maintained the same invigorating, expressive bench mark wines.

With her off-shoot ‘Black Label’ wines, Virginia was given free rein to experiment with seemingly more modern winemaking techniques. The resulting wines are exciting, fresh expressions of what Margaret River fruit can do with the same quality and finesse we expect from Vasse Felix.

Virginia has legendary status in the wine industry, her energy, passion and determination are inexorable.


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