Angove Family Winemakers, Australia's leading Certified Organic winery, has released its latest vintage to a flourish of international awards. At the Grand International Organic Wine Awards in 2019, one of the most important and recognised wine competitions in the organic wine sector, Angove Organic Wines received five Gold Medals.
The Angove Family Winemakers dedication to responsible certified organic farming practice, coupled with excellence in winemaking has set the benchmark for best-practice across the organic wine industry in Australia and internationally.
Tony Ingle, long standing Angove Chief Winemaker, says "Simply put, there is no other way, other than certified organic viticulture, to produce the best tasting wines and our latest awards are a testament to this."
"The fact that every wine entered received an award is a fantastic achievement and testament to our Ground to Glass commitment which uses only the very best in organic winemaking practices."
The Angove Ground to Glass commitment to upholding rigorous Certified Organic accreditation comes at a price to the business with deep and long term investment required.
"We believe farming Certified Organic is an investment which is required to continue to improve and perfect the quality of our wine whilst maintaining the environment for our next generation of winemakers. To compete against 289 wineries from 28 countries with more than 1,000 organic wines and receive a result such as this is really fantastic," says Richard Angove, Joint Managing Director and 5th Generation winemaker.
All wines in the Angove Organic range have an RRP of $17. For more information on these or any other Angove wines visit www.angove.com.au
Question: What originally inspired your passion in the wine industry?
Victoria Angove : I was very lucky to grow up as a part of a family that has been in the Australian wine industry for over 130 years. As kids, our house was on a vineyard in South Australia and my Dad ran the winery. I was always fascinated by Dad's work – the different wines he'd bring home, his travels, the customers that would visit us from all over the world, the stories he'd share with us about what was going on at the winery at different times of the year. On weekends he'd take us in to the winery and we'd explore and then as I got older I started working in different areas of the business – in the cellar, in the office, on the bottling line….there was a lot of cleaning during those days but I, like my brother Richard and sister Sophie have very much worked from the ground up. From a very early age I fell in love with the wine business and realised that choosing a career in wine would go a long way in creating a life filled with adventure, travel, incredible people, stories….and of course delicious wine and food!
Question: What challenges have you had to overcome as a female in an industry dominated by men?
Victoria Angove : There have been challenges and there continue to be but I have always loved to work hard and I love what I do. My Dad has always made recruitment decisions based on merit and I know that approach has permeated our business and culture for many years. I'm also incredibly lucky to have a very supportive husband who sees our careers as equally important and I'm very grateful for that as I suspect if that wasn't the case, everything would be a lot more difficult.
Question: Can you explain the process of creating certified organic wines and how this differs to other wines?
Victoria Angove : The biggest differences between Certified Organic and other wines come from what we leave out in both the grape growing and winemaking of our certified organic wines. Any inputs must be already naturally occurring in environment.
Certified Organic wine needs to go through a rigorous 3-year accreditation process where they are audited each year to ensure they are operating to a strictly controlled organic protocol in everything they do. It is only after this three-year period that they are allowed to label their product as being Certified Organic. In order to maintain this certification, they are audited again every twelve months. This means that Certified Organic is the very best that nature intended.
Question: Can you tell us about Angove Family Winemakers sustainability efforts?
Victoria Angove : Angove Family Winemakers saw the need to farm more sustainably over a decade ago and were early adopters in the Organic winemaking movement here and continue to encourage others to follow our lead. In 2017 we made the commitment to convert all of the family owned vineyards to organic certification. To date we have converted 230 hectares of Organic Vineyard in the Riverland and McLaren Vale to organic/biodynamic. Additionally, 100 hectares are currently 2 years into the 3-year conversion process and 150 hectares began conversion mid-2017. There is an overall goal to have all 480 hectares of company owned Vineyard Certified Organic by 2020 resulting in a massive overall reduction in synthetic chemical and tractor use.
Currently Angove produce 100,000 9L cases of Organic Wine with plenty of opportunity for growth.
Question: What sustainability processes do you hope to implement in the near future?
Victoria Angove : We have an appetite for constant improvement across all areas of the business. We have a 200 kW solar panel array installed and are looking at options to expand this in the coming years to include battery technology. We are working on a number of trials in the vineyard to enhance our Organic grape growing. On site we recycle a significant amount of the material used in production and we are actively working to reduce paper usage.
Question: What's a typical day like, for you?
Victoria Angove : The thing that I love the most is that there really is no typical day for me. I love the diversity, travel and challenge that comes from the role. On any given day you might find me at our McLaren Vale cellar door and vineyard hosting customers or other business partners, planning events that we have coming up, being in the winery or bottling hall reviewing operations with the team, travelling in Australia or overseas on the promotion trail, lobbying politicians in Canberra, tasting new vintage wines, looking at different packaging options, spending time with our accountant to make the numbers work or just having a "day in the office" catching up on the un-endless emails!
Question: What's next for Angove Family Winemakers?
Victoria Angove : We are dedicated to continuing our quest to make outstanding wines from some of Australia's great wine growing regions. We love crafting wines for our consumers that are delicious and diverse. This year we have added an Organic Riesling and Shiraz to our extensive Organic range and the new vintage release of our Warboys Vineyard Shiraz is the best we've ever made. As the 5th generation, my brother Richard, sister Sophie and I are very focussed on ensuring the business is sustainable to carry on in to future generations and we are very grateful to our terrific team who are all working hard towards our goals.
Interview by Brooke Hunter