Grape expectations for Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi, Queensland’s first female voice and vote on the Winemaker’s Federation board

Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi of Ballandean Estate on the Granite Belt has been elected to the Winemaker’s Federation (WFA) board of 12 at an historically significant annual general meeting on 13 November 2018. Ms Puglisi-Gangemi is the second Queensland board member to be elected since WFA’s 1999 inauguration and the first Queensland female board member to be elected.

I am thrilled to be elected to a platform where I can continue to improve the business and regulatory environment for Australian winemakers and grape growers. Educating national and international consumers about the quality of Queensland wines has driven my advocacy.

Queensland now has over 1500 hectares of vines and a new generation of talented people guiding production in Queensland. We are just so lucky to have David Littleproud, Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources lobbying on behalf of the wine industry. As a long-term Warwick resident, the Minister has an acute understanding of the important role agriculture and small business plays in creating jobs and promoting economic growth across rural, regional and remote Australia, says Ms Gangemi-Puglisi.

An influential woman in wine

Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi is an outstanding advocate for Queensland’s burgeoning wine industry and one of Australia’s most influential woman in wine. She has been a voting member of WFA’s Small Winemakers’ Membership Committee and elected representative of Queensland Wine Industry Association for the last seven years. As a third-generation operator of Ballandean Estate, founded by Queensland’s pioneering Puglisi family, Ms Gangemi-Puglis has worked tirelessly as an industry ambassador for decades.

Her influential position is made even more remarkable when despite gender-equal enrolments in wine and viticulture courses, women make up less than 10 per cent of the wine industry workforce, according to a large-scale Australian study* by the Curtin Graduate School of Business, Women in top roles in the wine industry: Forging ahead or falling behind? Representation of women in leadership and senior roles is even smaller.

We are renowned for producing enticing ‘Strange Bird’ varietals in Queensland. Our vignerons have passionately embraced alternative varieties such as Fiano, Saperavi, Nero D’Avola, Malbec, Durif, Tempranillo, Viognier and many others. Maintaining the rights of Australia’s winemakers to market their wines in Australia and internationally using grape variety names is of great importance to the Australian wine sector at the moment.

The use of grape variety names, such as Prosecco, Fiano and Nero D’Avela as a point of contention between the European Union and Australia. Flow-on effects for our Strange Bird grape varieties could have a significant impact on Australian wine businesses as well as threatening other agricultural commodities. The WFA is working hard to broker a peaceful international agreement, says Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi.

Winemakers Federation of Australia  advocacy

WFA is the first point of contact for Federal Government and other national decision makers, and the national peak industry body for Australia’s Winemakers. Last week’s WFA AGM delivered an historic agreement to amalgamate WFA and the grape grower representative body Australian Vignerons to form a single united body. The new body, Australian Grape and Wine Incorporated (AGWI, will be operational in February 20119, and will deliver on behalf of winemakers and grape growers of all sizes and business needs.

WFA is working tirelessly to improve the business and regulatory environment for Australian winemakers, through strong advocacy, says Sandy Clark, Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) Chairman.

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  1. […] Estate has a rich history of empowered women in wine. Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi was recently voted onto the Winemaker’s Federation board, and is Queensland’s first female voice and […]

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