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Sunday 2 October 2022

Women in wine roar into the spirits space

The team behind the Australian Women in Wine Awards have diverted - just a little bit - to produce their first gin under the name of Hear me Roar.

It will be the first gin anywhere in the world where 100% of profits will go to assist women to flourish and succeed in their chosen profession in the wine industry.

The gin is the second incarnation of the Hear me Roar brand (they use all lowercase characters for the name), with the AWIWA releasing a shiraz under the label in 2019.

The shiraz was a sell out and almost $40,000 was raised and distributed to women involved in wine across the country.

Hear me Roar is currently in production and available for pre-order via the AWIWA website with an expected release in mid-November.

The brand name is a clear and deliberate reference to the iconic Helen Reddy song released in 1971 and taken up more widely as a rallying cry for change.

As per the Hear me Roar shiraz in 2019, all proceeds from the sale of the gin will go towards scholarships, mentoring programs and professional development for women in wine.

Information on how to apply and the selection criteria will be made available early in 2023.

AWIWA Board member and winemaker Rebekah Richardson, who is also owner and distiller at Lucid Distilling, is excited to be the maker of the gin with a purpose.

"Having been in the wine industry for over 25 years, I love that I can give back and help support other women coming through." Richardson says. "I feel it is our responsibility to do what we can to be the change we want to see.

"I love the energy that the Australian Women in Wine advisory board brings to this project and I feel fortunate to be surrounded by so many fantastic women who are not only colleagues, but also friends.

"The Hear me Roar project is a great way to lift up the next generation of women in our wine community.".

Women represent just under 30% of professionals across the wine industry in Australia and at senior levels, this representation drops to fewer than 10%.

The recipe for the gin was determined by a vote after asking women across the industry to submit what ingredients they thought should be included.

The winner was Tracy Taylor of Southwood Vineyards in Tasmania, and the gin will be infused with her choice of herbals. 

The Australian Women in Wine Awards (AWIWA) was founded in 2015 and the advisory bard 2022 comprises Jane Thomson (chair), Jeni Port, Corrina Wright, Rebekah Richardson, Sarah Collingwood, Shirley Fraser and Alexia Roberts.

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