Meet The Makers | Pacha Mama Wine
There is so much to be excited about in Australian wine right now with the winemaking business reported to be at its strongest in more than a decade. But in a predominately male dominated industry that is made up of less than 10% of females, there are two women who are really making waves.
Meet Nina Stocker and Callie Jemmeson - the dynamic winemaking duo behind Wine Unplugged.
Based in the Yarra Valley, Wine Unplugged is home to four unique labels that have no boundaries other than producing incredibly high quality wines without the pretence.
But really, Nina and Callie describe their work as
"...just two chicks making wines we love to drink and share with friends and loved ones. Boom!"
Pacha Mama is one of the four labels under the Wine Unplugged brand - and it also just happens to be the one of the newest goods you'll find in our tubes. The name is inspired by a trip to Peru and the Incan Earth Goddess herself, who brings fruit to the vine and joy to the world, while the wines are created from Nina and Callie's favourite varietals from the regions they're most passionate about.
The result? Stylish, beautifully unique and individual Australian wines that are great value. What more could you want?
We caught up with Callie Jemmeson from the Wine Unplugged team to chat about all things Pacha Mama.
Tell us about how you got into wine making? Was it always something you wanted to do?
No – not initially when I was looking at careers. It was always my dad’s industry. I was lucky enough to find one of my life’s biggest passions at high school. I completed the first few certificates in commercial cookery for VCE and fell in love with cooking and food. I was encouraged to get a degree from Melbourne University after school and I worked in kitchens to fund my way through. I studied Psychology and Criminology and whilst I found that fascinating I couldn’t see myself creating career in those areas. I always knew one thing for certain – I would never work in an office.
I went back to William Angliss to complete my Chef’s qualifications and realised pretty quickly that the hours would always be terrible. The greatest joy I get from cooking is sharing that meal with others and I would be missing all of it if I were in the kitchen full time. So after William Angliss I packed my bag and headed to central and south America for a six month trip with a couple of mates. Some of my greatest memories from the trip were at wineries or whilst drinking wine with those friends.
At the end of the trip my dad, recently retired, came over to Peru to see Machu Pichu with me. It was whilst we were there that we came up with the concept of Pacha Mama. Our first brand. I remember my dad telling me that I should think about wine. It was the perfect combination of everything I loved – food, travel, art, music, science, even psychology plays a part when thinking about how people taste and buy wine.
How did yourself and Nina cross paths to create the Wine Unplugged brand?
I came back from that trip to Peru and called Nina (my winemaking partner in crime with Pacha)– I had never met her but on my dad’s advice I asked her about the industry and how I could go about working a vintage. Her words of wisdom were if you can get through a vintage of cleaning drains and sorting grapes and come out the other end smiling then it’s for you. I’ve never looked back.
A few years on after having worked at De Bortoli and vintages oversees I was ready to come into the family business. At the same time Nina was thinking about leaving the wine game to focus on her family and spending time with Ellie her then 2 year old daughter. We teamed up to continue the Pacha brand and add in a few more of our own which we combined under the Wine Unplugged umbrella.
We are excited to now feature Pacha Mama Wines in our some of our newest tubes, can you tell us a bit more about how the Pacha Mama range came about?
When the indigenous people of Machu Picchu toasted the sunrise coming up over the ruins, they poured a little of their drink onto the ground as a way to say thanks to their Earth Mother (Mother Nature) "Pacha Mama". It was such a beautiful concept that the grapes are grown from the soil, nurtured into wine, and then poured back into the soil that we (my dad and I) decided that it could become our first family wine project.
With a combined experience of wine making from places such as Portugal, Italy, France and many more places around the world – what do you think makes the Australian wine industry, and the Pacha Mama wine range in particular, so unique?
Australian wine is so exciting right now! We are not restrained by traditional models of making wine. We are able to play and experiment to find out what suits our soils and climate.
Our Wine Unplugged moto is Wine without boundaries because we are able to source any variety of fruit from any region. That’s what we do with Pacha – we are not constrained to a single site. We source the best fruit from incredible growers all across Victoria. Highlighting different varieties from particular regions that suit them best.
You have recently been nominated for the Australian Women in Wine Awards for Owner/Operator of the Year! With the industry being renowned for having a ‘Macho Culture’ - do you think there needs to be better pathways for women to not only enter, but to also be recognised as strong players in the industry?
I still can’t believe it!! It’s such an honour to be included alongside these inspiring women. I think that with all industries there is a tendency for women to underestimate themselves and their achievements/abilities. Women are outnumbered in the wine industry and often overshadowed by their more confident male counterparts. These awards really do highlight all of the incredible ways in which Women are making a difference and forging their own paths and they deserve to be recognised. We not only need to look at how we can get more women into the industry but also how we keep them! It’s not an easy task juggling kids and vintage commitments! However, with the right support and flexibility it’s more than possible.
What is next for the Pacha Mama/Wine Unplugged team?
Who knows! We are constantly evolving so anything is possible. However, my pipe dream is to have a cellar door space so that we can have direct engagement with our consumers. I love being able to tell our story and see people interact with our wines.
On a last note, we must know your favourite Pacha Mama Wine?
That’s like asking us our favourite child! They are all special in their own unique ways.
At The Goods Tube, we are a business who likes to think creatively and sensibly when it comes to the products we use in our gifts, ensuring that #TheBrandsWeWorkWith value original thought, surprising creativity and ingenious invention.
We have been hard at work sourcing some of the most exciting new goods to go into our tubes and we are thrilled to offer a selection of Pacha Mama Wines.
For more on the team from Pacha Mama Wines/Wine Unplugged, you can visit their website here.
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Shop our Pacha Mama Tubes
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The perfect all-rounder thank you gift featuring Pacha Mama Shiraz.
Australian Flavours Tube
A powerful & earthy Pacha Mama Shiraz with a range of all Australian snacks.
Pachamama White Wine & Chocolate Tube
Featuring a crisp & delicious Pacha Mama Pinot Gris.