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Lumen Autumn 2017 Issue
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Finding inspiration among the vines

Corrina Wright

Corrina Wright
Corrina Wright was in the middle of a commerce degree with plans to do commerce-law, when she had one of those life-changing, light-bulb moments – she wanted to be a winemaker.

To be fair, it wasn’t a total surprise. Corrina grew up among the vines at her family’s Oliver’s Taranga Vineyards in McLaren Vale and is the sixth generation to live there.


“I always thought I wanted to be a lawyer but sometimes you don’t always see the opportunities that are right there in front of you,” says Corrina.

Her late switch worked out perfectly – both professionally and romantically. After finishing her commerce degree at the University of Adelaide in late 1993, she took a year off and then re-enrolled in oenology.

It was during her second round of studies that Corrina met her future husband, Dan Wright, who was studying viticulture at the University.

“My degree coincided with the course’s move from Roseworthy to Waite with all the new facilities, and we had AWRI (Australian Wine Research Institute) and GWRDC (Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation) on our doorstep, which was pretty awesome,” she says.

“My final year also involved an exchange with the University of California Davis wine school, so it was an amazing opportunity.”

Living expenses for her US studies were sponsored by the former Southcorp Wines and she was a graduate winemaker with the company when she returned.

The experience meant she was ideally placed to help her family extend its vineyard operations with the opening of a winery and cellar door on their 100-hectare property.

Today Corrina makes award-winning wines for the business while Dan plays a key role in the family’s vineyards, which regularly supply grapes for Penfolds Grange and other top quality wines.

“We produce about 10,000 cases annually through our own winery and about two-thirds of our grapes are bought by other producers,” she says.


Corrina is director, winemaker and marketer for the business and has just added beer taster to her long list of skills. 


“Dan has always envisaged launching a beer label and we’ve currently got an application with council to build a brewery on our property,” she says.

Their micro-brewing business Swell Brewing Co is already making waves among craft beer enthusiasts.

University of Adelaide Wine

University of Adelaide Wine
New label highlights wine credentials

A new wine label has been launched by the University of Adelaide to showcase its world-renowned research and teaching programs in winemaking and viticulture.

Some of Australia’s best winemakers, viticulturists and wine scientists were taught at the University’s Waite campus. Annually more than 400 different wines and fortifieds are produced.

While none of them are sold commercially, many are top quality and this will be highlighted by the label which presents a clean, polished and professional identity. They are available to staff and alumni for purchase through the Waite winery.

For enquiries contact assistwinemaker@adelaide.edu.au

Story by Ian Willams

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