Kate Strachan: Innovator – Leader – Quiet Achiever


Kate Strachan from Renmark is the Riverland’s second finalist in this year’s Fabulous Women in Wine Awards. Kate is a third generation fruit grower on the Strachan family property in Renmark. Nurturing and growing fruit is in her blood.

 She was fortunate to spend her early years with the spectacular Riverland environment as her backyard. Early in her career as a viticulturist, Kate revealed an innate understanding of just how essential it is to balance crop production while protecting and preserving the natural environment and resources; this philosophy underscores her entire approach to growing winegrapes.

After study Kate began her career as a technical viticulturist with Southcorp in the Barossa Valley and the Riverland, before moving to Taylors Wines in the Clare Valley. This was followed by a stint managing Knappstein and Petaluma’s iconic Riesling vineyards in Clare. Kate is also an Agricultural Educator and believes that education at all levels, is the key to the long term social, economic and environmental sustainability of our agricultural sector.

Kate has held executive positions with many industry and community groups throughout her career and is a current board member of the Renmark Irrigation Trust. She is committed to promoting sustainable agricultural production systems, improving our natural resource management and is a strong advocate for the Murray Darling Basin Plan. She is keenly involved in the rejuvenation of the floodplain surrounding Renmark, through the application of Commonwealth Environmental Water.

In her application to support her nomination, Kate focused on the conversion of her property to organic production and the exploration of ‘alternative’ varieties, with established viognier plantings and a newly planted Albarino block. This planting has been achieved using an all steel trellis in an effort to stop the accumulation of broken CCA posts and training to a single cordon with a fruiting wire, heralding the return of ‘old fashioned’ hand-pruning! She will gauge the capacity of this new variety in Australian conditions and then manage cropping levels to meet the needs of potential buyers with advanced irrigation and viticultural practices.

Last week we were proud to profile Jenny Semmler of 919 Wines at Glossop, a finalist in the ‘Owner/Operator category. Riverland Wine is hosting an event at the Loxton Hotel to celebrate and acknowledge both women’s achievement in being selected as finalists in this national competition.

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