In July last year Bec Hardy took control of the ownership of McLaren Vale
brand Pertaringa, becoming the first female member of the Hardy family to possess
her own vineyard and produce her own wine. Before the move, the sixth-generation
person in the winemaking family and her husband, Richard, had worked within the
family business, growing Wines by Geoff Hardy's exports by over 788 percent
and achieving eight years of double-digit export growth.
BH: I have been fortunate that my parents never put any pressure on me to
join the household business. But as a child I loved the outside and being in
nature, so viticulture was a natural choice. I gained experience of the wine
industry in London and Sydney after which returned to South Australia to work with
dad. In time, it became clear the Pertaringa brand would pass to me. It's
an honour to carry on in the family tradition, but also to place my own personal
stamp on the winemaking and brand building.
BH: The largest challenge has been export – my husband and co-Managing Director, Richard, and I are big “relationship” people so not being able to travel to strengthen existing relationships and forge new connections continues to be difficult. But we've instead checked out different avenues to reach new and existing markets and fasten with trustworthy partners who are able to represent us overseas. And we've also focused on our offering at home – brand building, PR, e-commerce and the visitor experience by refurbishing our cellar door in McLaren Vale and launching bespoke dining experiences at our home, Tipsy Hill.
BH: We seek out distribution partners of choice both domestically and
internationally. We're a values-based business with a strong group of unique
selling points, a great price to quality ratio across all prices, a
willingness to invest in our logo and our people with a clear focus on the
future and the next thirty years. Those strengths are appealing to
distributors domestically and internationally.
BH: It's brought opportunity in time and dollars that we are able to
redeploy to invest in our domestic offering. We have refurbished our cellar
door, recruited two new team members in important roles and have one key role
left to fill for any new full-time DTC, Cellar Door and Events Manager.
We do, also, remain optimistic and positive about the medium- to
long-term opportunities in China.
BH: I think change is happening and it helps when
women in the industry support one another and hold one another up – there are
several initiatives that champion women in wine. We've just hired a brand new
winemaker, Bec Swincer, who not only has 20 years of experience across three
continents but additionally happens to be female. Winemaking could be physical work and
reaching a head winemaker position also requires a lot of study, travel and
experience, and women's role as the primary care giver has often held them back
from achieving this. Offering flexibility and celebrating those people who are
succeeding as role models will help to redress the imbalance.
BH: We keep looking for like-minded distribution partners to develop
our distribution and our brand. We'll continue to invest in our people and
our brand. The past eight months, we've poured our life blood into Bec
Hardy Wines and it is rewarding to see the returns – not just in terms of sales
but in repeat visitors and loyal fans. We're positive and excited for our