|Chief Winemaker, The Yalumba Wine Company.|
Member South Australian Agribusiness Council.
Director Barossa Grape and Wine Association,
Director Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference Inc.,
Chairman Wine Barossa.
National wine show judge since 1997
AWRI (Chair) Board member since 2011
Louisa is highly respected with in the wine industry across areas of winemaking, viticulture and industry leadership. During her 25-year career at Yalumba, Louisa has championed technical change in the winery and has overseen significant shifts in practice including the change from inoculated ferments to the wider use of natural ferments in a larger commercial winery situation, practices to reduce the use of animal-based finings and opening new market opportunities for vegan wine. Louisa has done this in collaboration with research organisations such as the AWRI and the University of Adelaide to ensure that the safety and longevity of the techniques are adopted and sustainable.
As Head of Winemaking at Yalumba, Louisa has been responsible for modifying the standard winemaking practice away from inoculating with particular strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to the widespread and routine implementation of wild/natural fermentation techniques across the entire winery on a large and commercial scale. This has been important for constructing wines which have better aroma and mouthfeel properties, and for developing wines that better match food options. Louisa has also implemented more ‘natural’ winemaking philosophies within Yalumba, through both the use of wild/natural ferments, but also through not using aggressive animal based fining agents, which can strip wines of aroma and textual/mouthfeel properties. This approach has allowed wines to be ‘vegan’ friendly and this has received positive feedback in the wine media and from the market and consumers. For a major winery such as Yalumba to make a departure away from the standard, less risky, winemaking techniques into the natural/wild ferments is a major step, and Louisa has lead Yalumba through this transition and assisted in producing wines for Yalumba of distinction. Louisa does attribute this to Yalumba’s vertically integrated value chain, from the supply of high quality planting material, through to vineyards producing good quality clean fruit that then follows through into the winery to allow such techniques to work in a successful manner. Louisa has also been a pioneer in developing some of the alternative varieties such as Viognier within the Australian Industry.
Louisa has led the evaluation of new grapevine clones and championed the variety Viognier. Beyond this she has been a remarkable in her promotion of alternative varieties, and has been an integral part of the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show as a committee member, judge and ambassador. Louisa has been extremely active as a wine show judge in Australia and overseas– acting in the roles of judge, panel Chair and wine show Chair. She has received a number of accolades from key wine shows and media entities such as: The Age’s – Best Winemaker 2014, Gourmet Traveller Wines – Winemaker of the Year 2008, and the Women in Wine Award from the International Wine and Spirits Competition in 2004. Louisa authored the sparkling wine chapter of Australian Winemaking a compendium of Australian oenological practice, published by Trivinium Press and available at: https://winebookcellar.com.au/awm/awm/spk. Louisa’s contributions to and accolades in the industry has led her to be a prominent role model to aspiring winemakers and her peers. Louisa joined the ASVO in 1991 and has been an active contributor to the Society, presenting at numerous technical workshops and seminars and also contributing as a technical speaker and session chair at several Australian Wine Industry Technical Conferences. Louisa was named the 2013 ASVO Winemaker of the Year in recognition of her work on the adoption of natural ferments and the reduced use of animal-based fining products in a commercial winery setting. She has continued to have input into this award and has chaired the ASVO Winemaker of the Year selection panel for the past two years. Louisa is described as by her peers and colleagues as a great thinker, one who resolves problems and moves on to the next challenge. She has been extremely gracious with her time in promoting Australian wine and in championing research, development and extension across industry. Above all she is humble and goes about her activities somewhat under the radar. It is her quiet achievement of all this and her unwavering support for individuals and boundless capacity to share her experience and expertise that make her most worthy of the honorary role as an ASVO Fellow.