Pepper Tree’s star is rising

SUCCESS: Gwyn Olsen, the head winemaker of the Hunter's Pepper Tree Wines group.
SUCCESS: Gwyn Olsen, the head winemaker of the Hunter's Pepper Tree Wines group.

THE Hunter Valley’s Gwyn Olsen, head winemaker of Dr John Davis’s Pepper Tree Wines group, has been chosen as one of the Australian industry’s “Future Leaders”.

Along with 15 other young industry professionals from around the Australia, Ms Olsen, 33, will take part in a six-month program beginning in June and take part in sessions across the nation.

The program is coordinated by Wine Australia in partnership with the Winemakers' Federation of Australia and Australian Vignerons, with the aim of creating “a network of confident, committed individuals who will contribute to the future success of the Australian wine community”.

In 2014 she won Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine’s Young Winemaker of the Year award and in 2015 she was crowned Hunter Wine Awards’ 2015 Rising Star.

Ms Olsen was raised in Cairns and went to New Zealand in 2001 to do a bachelor of science degree at Otago University.

She then moved to Adelaide to take on a Roseworthy College winemaking degree course.

After gaining her degree in 2005, she worked on her first post-graduation vintage at Domaine Preignes Le Vieux, in France’s Languedoc region.

This was followed by a six-year stint as assistant winemaker at Villa Maria winery in New Zealand. She returned to Australia to join the McWilliam’s family company and then in 2013 moved to become general manager-chief winemaker at the Davis group’s Mount View Briar Ridge subsidiary. She became the group’s chief winemaker in 2015.

In 2013 she was declared dux of the elite Australian Wine Research Institute Advanced Wine Assessment Course, one of Australia’s toughest wine tests, conducted by the institute and the Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show.


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