Saturday 19 October 2019

Pepper Tree Wines owner: ‘Women absolutely dominate our company’

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John Davis, owner of Pepper Tree Wines in the Hunter Valley says women “absolutely dominate our company”.

He was speaking after being named Champion of Diversity & Equality at the Australian Women in Wine Awards in New York overnight.

WBM – Australia’s Wine Business Magazine sponsors the awards.

“Women absolutely dominate our company,” he says.

“There is no equal opportunity hiring policy, the only policy I believe in and what I think all businesses should implement is hiring the best people for the job.

“In my case, having owned Pepper Tree for 18 years, those best people have been women.

“I am proud to say that over 50 percent senior management and middle management are female, and I do believe that has helped Pepper Tree be successful over the years.”

In another life John Davis was a successful oil exploration geologist. In 1982 he bought his first vineyard and by 1988 his first winery.

What started out as a serious hobby gradually became his sole business focus.

John used his geological knowledge to purchase select vineyard sites in four of Australia’s premium grapegrowing areas – the Hunter Valley, Orange, Wrattonbully and Coonawarra.

In the past few decades he has forged a reputation as an astute viticulturist with an unerring eye for matching soil types with their most suited grape varieties.

His purchase of Pepper Tree in 2002 completed his objective of merging his own vineyards with a compatible high-quality not to mention highly-awarded boutique winery, where each vineyard’s terroir can be fully expressed. John is hands-on in all aspects of the business.

The Australian Women in Wine Awards – owned and operated by The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society – is the only awards program for women in wine in the world.

2019 Australian Women in Wine Awards

Marketer of the Year – Imogen Hayes (Handpicked Wines)
Champion of Diversity & Equality – John Davis (Pepper Tree Wines)
Owner/Operator of the Year – Sarah McDougall (Lake George Winery)
Viticulturist of the Year – Sheridan Alm (Starrs Reach Vineyard)
Woman of Inspiration – Angie Bradbury (Dig+Fish)
Honorary Australian Woman in Wine – USA – Christina Pickard
Cellar Door Person of the Year – Ulrika Larsson (Clairault Streicker)
Winemaker of the Year – Vanya Cullen (Cullen Wines)

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