Jane Thomson, founder of The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society, and Corrina Wright, CEO of Oliver’s Teranga in McLaren Vale, will represent Australia at the inaugural Forum of the Women in Wine Worldwide in Milan this month.
For the first time in the world, women who are leaders in their nation in advocating for action on gender equality in the wine industry are being brought together to exchange ideas and form a partnership agreement for international collaboration.
The Forum of the Women in Wine Worldwide will be held in Milan on 20 November as part of the SIMEI Fair (International Enological and Bottling Equipment Exhibition – 19-22 November).
An all-Italian idea, this groundbreaking meeting is taking place thanks to a collaboration between the Italian women in wine group Le Donne del Vino and the Unione Italiana Vini (UIV) who are organising the Fair. The attendance of invitees is being fully funded by the UIV.
The goal is for women who have been working in this space to meet and exchange ideas and experiences, with the most important element being the signing of a partnership agreement.
The aim of the agreement is to create a global alliance between these (until now) independent players, creating the foundations for a constructive collaboration through meetings, exchange of experiences, communication and professional training opportunities.
Jane Thomson and Corrina Wright received an official invitation to attend as representatives of Australia in August and have been asked to share their knowledge and experiences – particularly their work with the Australian Women in Wine Awards.
“As organisers of the only awards program for women in wine in the world, I think we’ll have a lot to contribute to this gathering,” Jane says.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be linking in and learning from women all over the world who have been working hard to bring about powerful change in this area.”
Corrina says the chance to represent Australia at this event is “incredibly exciting.”
“After all, we will be so much stronger together in creating real advocacy for women in the wine sector all over the world,” she says.
The national association Le Donne del Vino (Women in Wine) was set up in Florence in 1988 by Elisabetta Tognana, a Venetian entrepreneur who resettled in Tuscany and sensed an opportunity to unite women producers, restaurant owners, wine bar owners, sommeliers, journalists and wine experts to give voice to women in wine.
The first group of 70 pioneer Women in Wine has grown to the current 800 members chaired by Donatella Cinelli Colombini, divided into regional delegations with one representative who coordinates the local initiatives.