SW winemakers star in Big Apple

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Vanya Cullen receiving her latest winemaker of the year award in New York on Tuesday.
Camera IconVanya Cullen receiving her latest winemaker of the year award in New York on Tuesday.

Vanya Cullen has done it again, and Clairault Streicker’s Ulrika Larsson has joined her.

The two women were named among the winners of the 2019 Australian Women in Wine Awards in New York on Tuesday night.

Cullen Wines doyenne Ms Cullen comes off a slew of awards as a winemaker, and AWIW agreed — she was named the awards’ winemaker of the year.

Margaret River’s Ms Larsson won the cellar door person of the year in the swanky celebration, which was attended by about 40 Australian wine producers and their corporate supporters.

Ms Cullen said she was “honoured, humbled and grateful” for the accolade.

“Three generations of women — my maternal grandmother Madeline Grace Smith was a suffragette, my mother Diana Madeline a pioneering woman in Margaret River, and it’s my 30th year at Cullen being senior winemaker — what a year,” she said.

Ms Larssen said heading to New York to win an award was “surreal”. “To win this award and to be mixing with all these awesome ladies gives me confidence and inspiration to continue doing what I love, working in cellar door,” she said.

Margaret River Wine Association chief executive Amanda Whiteland also made the trip to the US.

“It was so fantastic to be here in New York with Vanya, Ulrika and all the other women in wine to celebrate the talent and passion we have in Margaret River,” she said.

The awards, in partnership with Wine Australia, helped launch a new, month-long Far From Ordinary marketing campaign — the biggest ever held in the US.

Awards chairwoman Jane Thomson said a decision to start the new campaign with the awards “was a clear sign that Aussie #winechicks are integral to the Australian wine story, and that celebrating their contribution has benefits to the entire wine community and beyond”.

“Australian wine history is now boldly being made, with her-story front and centre,” she added.

Attendees were greeted by a “hot pink” rather than red carpet.

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