These ladies are the ones who run the show. The owners and the managers of wine businesses!
The Owner Operator of the Year Award recognises a wine business owner or operator who has made an outstanding contribution to their business in the Australian wine industry.
This award is proudly sponsored by
Cassandra MacDonald, eBev
Cassandra has worked in the wholesale wine industry for the last 8 years in a variety of sales and marketing roles. In October of 2015, she took the opportunity to lead a start-up technology business called eBev. eBev is a platform business, a two-sided online marketplace where venue buyers and wine suppliers meet, communicate and transact. Collaborating the industry, eBev is changing the way wholesale wine business is done and Cassandra is proud to be leading the team. Cassandra has completed a Bachelor of Business at Edith Cowan University and has completed WSET Level 3 Award in Wine and Spirits. Passionate about food, wine and hospitality, Cassandra also loves the outdoors and her regular fitness activities are early morning rowing and evening runs.
Emma Raidis, Raidis Estate
The wine industry has a tendency to captivate people, and so Emma found, when she began visiting Coonawarra.
Helping in the vineyards alongside Steven to maximise their weekends together, Emma quickly fell for him, along with the people, the region and the world of viticulture. Emma was the perfect partner in crime for Steven to start a Raidis family wine label, particularly with her background in hospitality, sales, travel and finance.
The Raidis’ released the first wine under the Raidis Estate label in 2009, made entirely from estate fruit. With a small business, boredom is never an issue – Emma touches everything from pruning to winemaking, sales, logistics, events & accounting. Relishing each role for its various benefits from working outdoors, to travelling the world, forming genuine friendships with customers and trade along the way. Emma plays an active role in the promotion of the Coonawarra Wine Region participating in regional events both locally & nationally. She also is the Chair of the Coonawarra Vignerons Marketing Committee.
One of the great joys of Connawarra life? Seeing son Riley and daughter Laila growing up so connected to the land, with a real understanding of where food comes from. That and getting to drink some really cracking wines in a wonderfully supporting community.
Sarah Collingwood, Four Winds Vineyard
Sarah Collingwood owns and manages a micro-winery and vineyard in the Canberra District, Four Winds Vineyard.
Since 2010, she has been in charge of the logistics and paperwork that underpin the operation. She has used her experience in finance and marketing in 2015 to turn four tonnes of spare shiraz grapes into over $46,000 for refugees and asylum seekers in Canberra. She is the treasurer for the Canberra District Wine Industry Association and was named a finalist in the 2016 Australian Women in Wine Awards owner/operator category.
With Sarah onboard, Four Winds Vineyard’s new range of labels has been awarded two international awards for their photography-series labels: overall supreme at the 2017 Drinks International Wine Design Challenge and overall champion at the Harpers Wine and Spirits Design Awards 2017.
Outside the business Sarah is the mother of two and aims to ride her mountain bike and screen-print whenever time permits.