By Kate Foreman
Cape Jaffa Wines’ winemaker Anna Hooper is one of the latest inductees into the HerBusiness Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame.
The honour continues an award winning run for Cape Jaffa Wines, which continues to push the boundaries.
“It’s huge to be recognised amongst a group of such high achieving women,” Anna says.
“At the risk of sounding clichéd, I was really quite surprised that they selected me but it’s really exciting and great for Cape Jaffa Wines.”
HerBusiness helps to mentor, recognise and profile Australia’s leading female entrepreneurs that have achieved success and inspire others.
“I have a role to encourage other women to be bold in their choices and to have the courage to follow any career pathway they might aspire to,” Anna says.
“I’ve never had a lot of confidence in my abilities and tend to be hard on myself at times, and I’m probably not alone in that sentiment.
“However, I have always been prepared to work hard and have taken on a fairly tenacious approach to work and life. To receive such a great accolade shows to me how far one can come with determination and a few fairly ambitious goals.”
Situated in the Mount Benson Wine Region near Robe, Jaffa Wines’ commitment to biodynamic winemaking practices, outlandish blends, experimental processes and sustainable approaches is what makes the winery stand out.
And for Anna it’s about making wines which reflect the lifestyle she leads with husband and business partner, Derek Hooper.
“Derek inspires me to push the boundaries as he likes interesting wines and has a fairly vivid imagination when it comes to what’s possible,” Anna says.
“We try to maintain an adventurous culture at work and encourage the team not to be frightened by failure. Small businesses have a great opportunity to innovate in that we can follow our own pathways and we can take risks.
“At Cape Jaffa, both Pip, my fellow winemaker, and I love to experiment.”
Cape Jaffa’s innovative advantage is that they are not “bound to tradition”.
“Australia as an industry has for a long time encouraged a philosophy of pursuing known varietal/regional matches, often at the expense of innovation,” Anna adds.
“We have never had any history on our side when it has come to promoting our winery or our region.
“For us, being the first winery in Mt Benson, there was a pioneering spirit from day one and we have managed to maintain that attitude throughout our 20 odd years in business.”
Anna’s approach to winemaking, innovation and community involvement saw her named the 2013 RIRDC South Australian Rural Woman of the Year.
She is also the president of the Mount Benson Vignerons Association and sits on the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council.
It’s no surprise the awards keep coming.
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