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Q&A with our wine expert

Promoting delicious Australian wine in Europe, the Middle East and Asia… we could certainly think of worse jobs in the world!

Name

Laura Jewell

Job Title

Regional General Manager EMEA

Company

Wine Australia

What does a typical day for you involve?

I have a short commute into Waterloo and enjoy the view of London each morning as I walk over the bridge to Australia House. Mornings are usually taken up with phone calls with the team in Australia. My job is to promote Australia’s premium wines through holding tastings, exhibitions and educational events in the UK and across Europe.

Each week varies hugely. I can be hosting 100+ wineries in ProWein in Germany or talking to sommeliers about food and wine matching over lunch – our Goat & Grenache was very successful. I also help wineries to understand the export opportunities in the UK and Europe and assist with finding distribution for them.

How did you begin your career?

I started as a graduate trainee with Waverley Vintners, the wines and spirits arm of Scottish & Newcastle Breweries. My first week was spent in a warehouse in Glasgow where, as a person born on the south coast of England, I didn’t understand a word they said to me.  I studied marketing and for my Master of Wine, which I attained in 1997. There are only 384 MW’s in the world – apparently more people have been into space than have passed the MW.  I have worked as a retail buyer for both Sainsbury’s and Tesco supermarkets and have now run the London office of Wine Australia for just over 4 years.

What’s your connection to South Australia?

As a wine buyer I have visited the vineyards and wineries of Australia for many years, and even owned part of a winery in the Riverland for a while. Adelaide is one of my favourite cities and I am happy that I get to visit it regularly as our head office is there.

How did you become part of the South Australia Club? 

It made sense to become a member with the focus on wine that the club has.

Favourite South Australian wine? 

I’m not allowed to have favourites, but the one I’m currently enjoying is the Bird in Hand sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé from the Adelaide Hills. It’s in Waitrose.

What do you enjoy most about the South Australia Club?

Apart from the wine tastings, I enjoy meeting the other members who have such fascinating stories to tell.

Who do you think eats all the pies?

I definitely try and have at least one – all in the name of trying to find the perfect wine match of course.

Best networking advice – to give or have been given? 

Ask people to tell you about themselves.

What’s your favourite London gem?

Borough Market – I’ve been going there a long time and know quite a few of the locals and the stall holders. As a foodie I can find amazing produce and ingredients and indulge in my love of cooking.