Women in Wine Sarah Crowe
Sarah is the award-winning winemaker and GM of Yarra Yering, one of the oldest and most beautiful vineyards in the Yarra Valley. Sarah is considered a prominent women in wine, so in light of International Women's Day, we chat to her about her career highlights, and what advice she would give to someone starting winemaking.
What are some memorable highlights throughout your career in wine?
“Definitely travelling overseas and working harvest in another country. It’s a new adventure, and getting to travel adds an element of excitement. Meeting new people and having new wine experiences, as well as observing different production techniques. It challenges your ideas and helps with creativity so you’ll hopefully trial new things when you get back home. You can make life-long friends because you shared something special.”
What advice would you give to young women just starting out or considering a career in winemaking?
“Have a crack, it’s a great industry but like all industries not everyone is nice. If you have a bad experience, accept that not everyone is nice in this world and find another place to work, don’t give up because of one bad apple, there are lots of good apples! You just need to find them and surround yourself with them.
There are a diverse range of roles too, so if the physicality of vineyard or winery work doesn’t suit you that isn’t the end of your options. The wine industry has educators, marketers, sales, operations, strategy…there’s so many options.”
What is your favourite wine to make, and your favourite wine to drink?
“I love the versatility of Shiraz and that was the variety I wanted to move to Yarra Yering for, but since coming here and immersing myself in Cabernet Sauvignon and associated blends, I have fallen in love with this fragrant, medium bodied, fine-boned tannin style of wine. It’s a real thinker’s wine.
As for drinking, I can never go past the Chardonnay list and usually start here before moving onto a glass of red.”
Do you have any role models or mentors who have been an important part of your career journey?
“Yes, both male and female, but I probably reach out to the female ones more often because sometimes you are wrestling with a gender-based issue and it’s good to have someone who’s likely been in the same situation to call on.
It would be awesome to see more women in board positions and I know they are out there ready for these roles.”