Adelaidean - News from the University of Adelaide The University of Adelaide Australia
December 2005 Issue
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Adelaide, wine and the world


These four talented young women represent the global reach of Adelaide winemaking.

Irit Boxer-Shank from Israel, Kathy Cooney from New Zealand, and Angelina Mondavi and Kate Payne from the United States are all studying for postgraduate qualifications in Oenology at the University's Waite Campus.

The four have had contrasting pathways into their winemaking studies, but are more than happy with the skills and knowledge their time in Adelaide is giving them.

For Irit, studying winemaking is a continuation of life back home on her family's winery, situated 20 minutes out of Tel Aviv.

"I've always been surrounded by wine and winemaking, and wanted to make it my life too," she said.

"I did my undergraduate studies in science back home, but wanted to go overseas for my postgraduate study to get more experience.

"I know of a few winemakers that studied here and in France, and they were very positive about Adelaide so I chose to come here."

Kathy, who hails from Rotorua in New Zealand's North Island, comes from much less of a winemaking background.

"I studied science in school, but didn't really know what I wanted to do," she said.

"At one stage I talked with three winemaking women, and to hear them talk about it and what they do, it was like, 'This is what I want to do'."

"I really want to travel and experience as many places as I can, and winemaking definitely allows you to do that. I couldn't have a job where I sit behind a desk all day!"

Like Irit, Angelina comes from a winemaking family, but one that is among America's most well-known and respected, the Mondavis in California.

It is a family history which Angelina said she initially tried to push away rather than embrace.

"When I was at high school, I wanted to be anything but a winemaker," she said. "But I got a bit older and knew it was pretty much in my blood.

"I wanted to get away from California and learn more about winemaking on my own, and then go home once I had the experience and build up my own name as a winemaker, rather than always staying within the family business."

Kate's hometown of Portland, Oregon has a cooler climate and much less of a wine industry than further south on America's West Coast. It's a background which saw her a much later starter in her winemaking career.

"I had a science background and worked in a completely different science area for a few years before I realised I wanted to do something different.

"I ended up working in an urban winery in Portland and basically fell in love with winemaking. I could have studied in California to get the skills I needed but I wanted a bit of adventure and to get a different perspective, so after a bit of research I decided to come to Adelaide and have thoroughly enjoyed it."

Oenology lecturer Dr Sue Bastian said apart from being a pleasure to mix with, it is an asset to the oenology and viticulture programmes to have such a culturally eclectic group of students enrolled here.

"The students from overseas contribute their global knowledge to the class discussions," Dr Bastian said. "These are dynamic individuals - you can sense their energy - and I guess that's why they've travelled so far to further their studies.

"Personally, I look forward to watching them make their mark in this industry."

The attraction of winemaking is that it is more than just a science, according to Kate.

"We all come from a science background but winemaking has that something extra in it, which is why we all attracted to it," she said.

"It has that bit of creativity, culture and art to it, as well as the science - it's just the whole package. It's a lot of hard work but it's really gratifying when you get the final result."

Story by Ben Osborne

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Winemakers (from left) Kathy Cooney, Angelina Mondavi, Irit Boxer-Shank and Kate Payne
Photos by Ben Osborne

Winemakers (from left) Kathy Cooney, Angelina Mondavi, Irit Boxer-Shank and Kate Payne
Photos by Ben Osborne

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