Women in Wine - Tamara Grischy
Friday, March 8, 2019 in News
Women in Wine: Tamara Grischy
Tamara Grischy is the Head of Auctions for Langton’s. Last year, Tamara received the Woman of Inspiration award at the Australian Women in Wine Awards 2018. Recently, Tamara has also presided over the latest release (the seventh edition) of Langton's Classification of Australian Wine while breaking price and volume records at auction.
Tamara Grischy, Head of Auctions for Langton’s
What first drew you into the wine industry?
My family. I grew up around wine as my parents had a restaurant. We always drank wine at the dinner table.
Can you remember the wine you’ve had where you first ‘got it’?
The 1986 Cullen Cabernet Merlot. I had it at my family's restaurant Catalina, in Port Douglas. It’s elegant but powerful. These days labelled Diana Madeline and a wine that I buy every year and love. It’s just one of the greatest Cabernet blends of the world!
“It’s just one of the greatest Cabernet blends of the world!”
You’ve been a fine wine auctioneer for many years, what’s the most expensive bottle of wine you’ve sold?
Recently, in December 2018, we sold a bottle of 1951 Penfolds Grange Hermitage in December 2018. It’s such an important wine for Australia but it was also in great condition. It was a world record too at $80.386.16.
Last year, when you interviewed Maggie Henriquez (President and CEO of Krug) at the Sydney Opera House and asked her what advice she would give her younger self. So what advice would give your younger self?
Give yourself a break and find a way to love yourself – confidence is your best sales pitch. If you have them, take the time to enjoy the birth of your children and not be worried about losing your place in the world. I’m taking my own advice by making the time now and be in the moment with my family, my best friend and soulmate, my husband Matt and my children - Jai 19, Ivy 16 and Sofia 12.
As the Head of Auctions, you play a key role in compiling the Langton’s Classification. What are the trends you’re seeing in wine collecting in Australia?
Demand moving away from faddish styles and a greater demand for wines (and producers) that have a track record of producing great wine. People want wines that are exquisite and of uncompromising quality. They want to know where they are from, an have a deep knowledge of their geology, history and what they stand for. Rich, authentic stories. Wines like those from Dan Standish, the Kaesler wines, Wynns, Tyrrell's, Woodlands and so many more. And, today, consumers want to actually enjoy their wine in a meaningful way, even if it's just a $16 Riesling.
You were awarded Woman of Inspiration at the 2018 Australian Women in Wine Awards. Your peers described you as an ‘unsung hero of the fine wine scene.’ How did you feel being honoured by your peers?
I felt very humbled. But also felt a great sense of responsibility.
What has changed for you since the awards?
Conscious reflections about females and our place in the industry and that I need to make sure that I make myself available for the younger generation to provide support and guidance. Enable my children, Jai, Ivy and Sofia.
“...find a way to love yourself – confidence is your best sales pitch.”
Who is the woman in the wine industry who you have looked to for influence?
Argh, none! I would have loved a female mentor. But this just shows the state of female leadership in my time so far in the industry. Throughout my career, I have had really only male mentors. Now I have built a strong network of chick peers and we have all grown together in the industry and supported one another.
To turn the question around. How do you think you do or can influence the wine industry?
Talk about the great female leaders, my peers, and be there to support women in the industry. Lead by example and challenge the traditional conditioning.
What are the biggest changes you’ve seen for women in the industry since you began your career wine?
Profile, influence, acceptance and flexibility. Women are much more present now and have a profile. We are leading the industry across viticulture, winemaking, sales, marketing and business, all areas really. We are making our mark and flexibility has been key to enabling us to have a better work-life balance. The conditioning of boys are good at this and girls are good at this. There’s is far less need for this with the next generations coming through into the wine industry. And most importantly with our kids.
Read more about the Langton’s Classification.
Read more interviews from our Women in Wine series.