Paula Edwards isn’t one for the spotlight.
When asked to grace WBM’s cover, she was surprised.
“I’m a bit of a ‘behind the scenes’ kind of girl,” she said with endearing disbelief.
All the more reason for a chat.
We catch up at a café in McLaren Flat, a short drive from the Winegrapes Australia headquarters, where she has worked since 2012.
“I’m just about to hit 11 years here,” she says.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever got long service.”
The Winegrapes office is an old renovated villa in the middle of a vineyard on Chapel Hill Road.
There, a modest team of seven continues what a small group of McLaren Vale growers started in 1992 when they saw value in selling their grapes as a collective, rather than going it alone.
“It’s a great organisation,” Paula says.
“It was started by eight McLaren Vale families; a few have left but a lot of them still remain.
“They basically thought that if they pool all their fruit together, they’d have better negotiating power with the likes of [what was] Foster’s and could provide a more substantial offering.
“We had our 30th birthday last year.”
Three decades later, Winegrapes is still grower owned.
• See the full interview in the May-June issue of WBM – Australia’s Wine Business Magazine. Subscribe here.