The Winemakers Federation of Australia has announced the names of those taking part in the inaugural Future Leaders program, which begins this September.

The 15 participants represent a cross-section of the wine industry’s younger generation, in production, marketing or management.

‘These are outstanding young people. To be selected they had to convince us they had the leadership capacity and were already involved in leadership at a regional or company level,’ Peter Mansfield, WFA workforce development manager, told decanter.com.

‘We need people with an understanding of the critical issues surrounding the Australian wine industry.’

The Future Leaders program was created by the WFA to ensure the younger generation has the knowledge and expertise to manage Australia’s future as a wine producing nation.

The program consists of workshops, discussion groups and seminars. Members will report back to the WFA after each session, and will be directly involved in developing future strategies for the Australian industry.

Nepenthe managing director James Tweddell said, ‘I’ve got huge respect for the [current] heads of the industry, but who’s the baton going to be handed to? It’s great to see the industry taking a proactive stance about this.’

‘I think it’s very important that the industry recognises that the youth are coming through, and that’s where the future rests,’ Elderton Wines director Allister Ashmead said.

Future Leaders participants are:

Tim Althaus, Primo Estate Wines; Victoria Angove, Angove’s; Allister Ashmead, Elderton Wines; Angus Barnes, Pernod Ricard Australia; Matt Fowles, Strathbogie Ranges Vintners; Travis Fuller, McWilliam’s; Michael Gray, St Anne’s Winery; Andrew Guard, Torbreck; Alan Kennett, Casella Wines; Stuart McNab, Fosters; James Omond, Omond & Co; Corrina Rayment, Oliver’s Taranga Vineyards; Kerri Thompson, Leasingham; James Tweddell, Nepenthe; Alexandra Wright, Voyager Estate.

Written by Penny Boothman