Rebecca Duffy from the Tamar Valley has been announced by the Hon Jeremy Rockliff MP, Minister for Primary Industries and Water, as the 2016 Rural Woman of the Year for Tasmania. The Encouragement Award has gone to Sally Murfet from Buckland.
Annette Reed (President, Tasmanian Women in Agriculture), Sally Murfet (Encouragement Award), Heather Stacy (RIRDC) and Rebecca Duffy (winner of the Rural Women's Award) with the Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Jeremy Rockliff MP
Copyright: AgriGrowth Tasmania
Rebecca Duffy (2016 Tasmanian Rural Woman of the Year)
Rebecca was born and raised on a sheep and cattle property on King Island. When she was in grade 9, her father planted a small block of vines on the farm. This is what first sparked Rebecca’s idea that she wanted to become a wine maker.
After working in the wine industry and on mainland Australia for 8 years, Rebecca returned to Tasmania in 2006 to run Holm Oak Vineyards. At the time the vineyard was 6 hectares in size and had no functional winery and a tiny cellar door.
Over the past 9 years production has grown from 1500 cases of wine per year to 12,000, with an extra 8 hectares being planted on a new property Rebecca purchased. A winery has been built, a bottling line installed and the cellar door expanded.
Rebecca is also a director of Wine Tasmania, the secretary of the Tamar Valley Wine Route group and makes herself available to new comers of the wine industry by offering support and guidance in establishing a solid wine business.
Rebecca’s project is to do a national and international cellar door study tour with the aim of creating a new, exciting and dynamic experience that offers more than just a tasting.
Rebecca intends to visit cellar doors and wineries in the Napa Valley in the USA and Cape Town in South Africa as these two regions are regarded as the most successful wine tourism regions in the world. She will also consult with Australian wineries who have implemented innovative ideas at their cellar doors, to gauge an idea of what they have found to be successful or unsuccessful.
Upon return, Rebecca intends to share her knowledge with other wineries and recommend opportunities for other cellar doors in the Tamar valley to create one of the best wine tourism routes in the world. She will also present her findings from the study tour at a Wine Tasmania event in order to share her experiences with the entire Tasmanian wine industry.
Sally Murfet (2016 Tasmanian Encouragement Award)
Sally’s project involves a study tour to visit education and workforce development specialists in Queensland and New Zealand to gain an insight into how they are attracting the next generation to work or study in the agricultural industry.
(The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Rural Women's Award is supported nationally by Westpac, ABC Rural Radio and Fairfax Agricultural Media. The Tasmanian Award is supported by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.)