As a teenager, Virginia saw the happiness and joy wine brought to her parents and their friends after a hard day’s work in their small vineyard. It was here she decided winemaking was going to be her career. More than two decades on, Virginia is the Chief Winemaker behind some of Australia’s most critically acclaimed wines, at Margaret River’s founding wine estate, Vasse Felix. She joined as Chief Winemaker in October, 2006. Virginia is one of the most awarded female winemakers in Australia, having been named ‘Gourmet Traveller WINE Australian Winemaker of the Year’ in 2012 (she was also a finalist in 2010) and ‘Winemaker of the Year’ by The West Australian Good Wine Guide 2013. Virginia was also nominated as ‘Winemaker of the Year’ in Wine Enthusiast Magazine USA’s 2014 Wine Star Awards. Virginia was one of five international nominees for the coveted award, and the only representative from Australia.
A respected authority on Margaret River winemaking, Virginia has represented the region as presenter and panellist of numerous international media and trade conventions and masterclasses, in addition to being a sought-after regional wine show judge. She also served on the board of the Margaret River Wine Industry Association for several years. Virginia has completed almost 25 vintages in Margaret River, and worked international vintages in Albania, Northern Italy, Sicily, Abruzzo and New Zealand.