Among the best of the bunch
Local winemaker in running for national wine award
three times been a candidate for the self-nominating or ‘shoulder tap’ award, which is designed to recognise the quality and diversity of Australian wines made by women.
The South Australian-born and educated winemaker, who came to the North East to work at Feathertop Winery in 2012, has quietly cut an enviable path in the Australian wine business.
Testament to her skills were last week’s North East Wine Challenge trophies for best Alpine Valleys’ wine, best alternative white variety, best al- ternative red variety and best red wine.
Ms Marsh said she had first nominated for the ‘Australian Women in Wine’ winemaker award in 2015 when she and Mayford Wines’ Eleana Anderson, from Porepunkah, were selected as finalists.
“So in the very first year two of the four finalists were from the Alpine Valleys,” Ms Marsh said.
This year there are also only four finalists – Ms Marsh and Ms Phillips as a dual nomination, Saltram Wines’ Shavaughn Wells (South Australia) and Vasse Felix’s Vir- ginia Willcock (Western Australia).
Ms Marsh said she had been developing Billy Button Wines for little more than a year when nominations opened for the 2016 award.
“I was nominated and I was a finalist again (with Emma Norbiato, Anna Pooley, Alexia Roberts), but I didn’t win,” she said last week.
“Then it came up this year and I decided to take a different tack, nominating myself and my assistant winemaker, Alex Phillips.
“Most people in the wine business seem to have a team behind them – in the lab, in the cellar and have management and marketing.
“We don’t. Here at Billy Button the two of us basically do every single thing except pick (grapes) much.
“But from the time the grapes arrive at the winery we do everything.”
British wine critic Jancis Robinson – perhaps the most recognised woman in wine in the world – has helped to sponsor this year’s ‘Australian Women in Wine’ awards.
She advises the Queen’s cellarmaster.
The awards are given by The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society and its founder, Jane Thomson.