by Jess Ruciack
Are you a winemaking student, or do you know someone studying winemaking? Then keep reading!
Learn about the Elderton Winemaking Excellence Scholarship and meet our 2018 Scholarship recipient, Imogen.
Elderton Wines is a family owned and operated Barossa winery, and the Ashmead family has been committed to supporting our community for many years. In addition to supporting charities, local sporting clubs and more, we are also very proud of supporting the future of the wine industry.
In 2015 we introduced the Elderton Winemaking Excellence Scholarship, through Foundation Barossa. Each year students studying a Bachelor of Oenology/Winemaking at an Australian University are invited to apply for the scholarship. The successful student chosen for the scholarship will receive mentoring, industry experience and financial support.
The 2019 round will support a student currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Oenology/Winemaking through:
- $3000 to support education expenses in the 2020 financial year
- The opportunity to undertake a 2020 vintage position in the Barossa at Elderton Wines
- Mentoring from the Elderton team
Meet the 2018 Elderton Winemaking Excellence Scholarship recipient, Imogen McNamara
Imogen, our most recent Scholarship recipient, is pictured here with Cameron at the Foundation Barossa presentation night.
I spoke with Imogen during her vintage placement in the winery for vintage 2019:
How did you come to want a career as a winemaker?
I’ve been fortunate enough to work around wine my entire working life in many various ways, from hospitality, events, sales and marketing. I always been very passionate about wine and a few years ago I made the move from Queensland to the Barossa where I very quickly became inspired to take a career in wine more seriously. The more I learnt about the region the more I wanted to know what goes on both in the vineyard and the winery. This led to the decision to go to University to study Oenology and Viticulture.
How has being a recipient of the scholarship assisted you with your studies?
This scholarship allowed me to secure my placement for my degree much earlier than a lot of my peers which took a lot of pressure off during end of year exams. Financially, it allowed me to live in the Barossa during vintage without financial impact on my family. It has also opened the door to a network of incredible people at the Barossa Foundation. Both Elderton and The Barossa Foundation are well respected organisations so working with them in the early years of my winemaking career is a huge opportunity that I was very honoured to receive.
What will you take away from your vintage placement at Elderton Wines?
The great thing about a vintage at Elderton is that you have the opportunity to experience all aspects of wine making from maturity sampling for ripeness in the vineyard to when the finished wine is transported for bottling. The winery itself uses a mix of traditional and modern methods which has allowed me to learn more about aspects of winemaking you don’t get to experience at University. Working alongside Richard Langford has been a very valuable experience, I have truly been in awe of his knowledge. I’ve learnt that I am capable of more than I often give myself credit for, and this inspires me to keep working hard to move forward in a career in this iconic industry.
What’s your favourite wine in the Elderton range?
I am a big fan of the Estate Rose, especially after a long day in the winery. But I’m looking forward to the cooler months so I can dust off a couple of Grand Tourer Shiraz from my “cellar” (aka wine fridge). To me it is a wine that is rich and vibrant that can be enjoyed with food or without. It showcases how Barossa shiraz can be both bold and elegant at the same time.
What would you say to others thinking about a future in the wine industry?
I wish I had started younger, so I say…. JUST DO IT! It is a fantastic industry to be a part of. Whether you want to work in the winery or even a cellar door my advice is to get involved in the local wine community, network, ask lots of questions and have an open mind to trying different styles of wine.
Here’s some of the experiences Imogen has had during her 2019 vintage placement at Elderton:
This is a great opportunity for a student with an interest in Barossa winemaking traditions to experience the Barossa and learn why we, at Elderton Wines, are so passionate about our region.
Applications are now open, with a closing date of 30 April 2019.
For more information on the Scholarship, and to apply, please go to the Foundation Barossa website.