Celebrating Women of Méthode

International Women's Day | 8 March 2021


International Women’s Day is a celebration of what women have achieved, a conversation around what is happening right now, and a chance to contemplate how things can change in the future.


We wanted to take the opportunity of International Women’s Day to shine a spotlight on a few of our female colleagues! Today we introduce you to Edel Everling, Amanda Johnson & Chelsea Clarke via ’10 Quick Questions!’:

Meet Amanda:

1. What winery do you work with and what is your role within?

I am managing director at my family’s wine company Spy Valley, based in the Waihopai Valley, Marlborough.

2. How did the wine industry capture your interest?

I find it such a unique industry that incorporates many facets from vineyard to glass, and the interesting and diverse nature of our staff and operations due to our vertical integration. Plus a love of quality wines.


3. What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It is a celebration of one of many demographics in our community and in regard to Women, I believe New Zealand has and is progressive on a global stage to support women rights to equality.


4. Is there someone you consider a mentor, either within or outside of the wine industry?

I gain inspiration from many in the wine industry, as well as having a female advisor in the leadership space which is great. My father inspires me with his depth and breadth of relationships and business acumen.

5. Do you have any advice for the next generation of female wine industry members?

Be brave and fearless, if we try and fail – lessons are learnt , if we never try – we never learn and grow.

6. Flashback to when you were 10 years old. What do you want to be when you grow up?

I used to watch and read about Jacques Cousteau’s adventures and pour over my parents collection of National Geographic magazines – at 10 years old I was going to grow up to be a marine biologist and underwater filmmaker!

7. What book is on your bedside table right now?

A friend loaned me Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – loving it

8. Finish this sentence. On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me…

Walking my German Shepherd, Nikau, in the vineyard


9. Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about?

Following up from question 5. I did become a Master Scuba diver trainer in my early 20’s post University, and trained many a scuba diver as well as dived in some exciting locations, under the ice at Lake Alta up the Remarkables ski field, with hammerhead sharks in the Galapagos Island, diving for treasure at 38 meters on the Elingamite wreck at the Three Kings islands. I love adventure! 10. Beyond méthode traditionnelle wine, what is your favourite tipple to enjoy on the patio?

Patio … alludes to a nice summers evening : Spy Valley Riesling 2016 - a dry style, with minerality, clean and vibrant, delicious!


Meet Chelsea:

1. What winery do you work with and what is your role within?

I am the Technical Viticulturist at Wither Hills.

2. How did the wine industry capture your interest? The idea that I could travel the world as a winemaker was what I found most captivating, at 17 I wasn’t much of a wine drinker!

3. What does International Women’s Day mean to you? IWD is an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the women past and present who have fought so hard for gender equality. It shines a light on the fact that there are still so many women in suffering around the world and that there is still much work to be done. I think that its important to ask ourselves what we can be doing to further the cause, IWD is a great reminder to do that. 4. Is there someone you consider a mentor, either within or outside of the wine industry? I worked with Sam Scarratt here at Wither Hills until she moved back to Australia and have always considered her to be a mentor. She has challenged me on numerous occasions to do something out of my comfort zone and in doing so helped me grow both personally and professionally.

5. Do you have any advice for the next generation of female wine industry members?

Cultivate self-confidence. To borrow a quote from Sheryl Sandberg “We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling back when we should be leaning in” 6. Flashback to when you were 10 years old. What do you want to be when you grow up? I think I wanted to be a Doctor!

7. What book is on your bedside table right now? As the daughter of a bookshop owner there is always a stack of books on my bedside table. Rather fittingly (and no word of a lie) the two on the top are ‘The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It’ by Tilar J. Mazzeo and ‘Champagne: A Secret History’ by Robert Walters.

8. Finish this sentence. On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me…

Taking our dog Ricky for a long walk while listening to a podcast, I’m currently listening to Bed Of Lies – well worth a listen.

9. Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about? I actually really love baking bread – there is something very cathartic about kneading dough by hand. Other than that I am highly skilled at taking up new hobbies then dropping them in quick succession. 10. Beyond méthode traditionnelle wine, what is your favourite tipple to enjoy on the patio? LOVE a chilled red.


Meet Edel:

1. What winery do you work with and what is your role within?

I’m co-founder, owner and winemaker at Johanneshof Cellars in Koromiko. As a boutique winery we are a very small team of four, which requires a real team effort. I was the only full timer for our first decade of operation and as a trained Winemaker and Viticulturist I have been involved in all aspects of our business from planting vines, to winemaking, to marketing, cellar door, cleaning, accounts, and export. Current priority has been marketing, export and general management, though you can still find me at the cellar door when needed.

2. How did the wine industry capture your interest?

I have been immersed in vines and wine culture since birth, growing up in a winemaking family in the picturesque Rhine area ‘Rheingau’ in Germany. Working as ‘Child labour’ in my parents vineyard convinced me that there were easier ways of making a living and that I needed to learn a ‘proper’ profession. I did - in the medical field, but after taking a yearlong break to travel the world I ended up full circle - studying winemaking and viticulture at Geisenheim University in Germany and working at the well known Geisenheim Wine Research Institute for Viticulture and Oenology. Starting a winery in NZ was a result of my business partnership with Warwick who had planted Marlborough’s first steep vineyard on his parents land where we later excavated our underground cellar to establish Johanneshof Cellars.

3. What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It is a celebration of women’s strength, their immense input in society and their incredible achievements. It is also a reminder to continue the work of so many amazing women who fought for equality, against discrimination and for a better, more just society. There is still much work to be done to achieve a fair and equal world and we should not forget the sacrifices those made who have paved the way for us. We are incredibly privileged to walk in the path of those courageous women and need to honour them by our actions to achieve freedom, independence and equality for all women. 4. Is there someone you consider a mentor, either within or outside of the wine industry?

My biggest mentors have always been my parents with their deep connection to nature, their creativity and their human spirit. Although they passed away decades ago before I started my own business, they have always encouraged us to learn, follow our heart and passion and become independent, strong and compassionate humans. This has guided me throughout my life and helped me overcome many adversities. I credit my dad with instilling in us a deep understanding and enjoyment of all things wine. His artistic flair and my mums positive attitude has opened up the world to me through the love of travel, people and languages, architecture, craftmanship, arts and culture. Professionally I consider my greatest inspiration to be my former employer Prof. Dr. Helmut Becker at the Geisenheim Wine Research Institute for Grape Grafting and Grape Breeding, as he not only had a wealth of knowledge in his field and was internationally acclaimed for his work around the world, but was an amazing, kind and inspiring human.

5. Do you have any advice for the next generation of female wine industry members?

I feel it is important to follow your dreams and pursue whatever you feel makes you happy, whatever the industry or gender. While much has changed since my studies, where only 10 % of wine students were female, we are still far from being represented equally in leading positions and executive roles. It requires strength, courage, tenacity and knowledge to break that mould, but I also feel the need for support and encouragement amongst women. I consider integrity and teamwork very important, and not giving up easily as there is no shame in failing, just in not trying at all.

6. Flashback to when you were 10 years old. What do you want to be when you grow up?

I sooo wanted to be a doctor, a surgeon. I trained and worked as a dental nurse for a few years to bridge the gap to get into medical school, until my travels turned my life in another direction.

7. What book is on your bedside table right now?

I’m re-reading “Aphrodite – A Memoir of the Senses” by Isabel Allende, a reflection on her relationship with food and eroticism. She is an excellent writer whose books I love.

8. Finish this sentence. On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me… Lol… at the winery... But on Mondays when we are closed, you can usually find me in bed with a coffee and a book…and hopefully soon around our beautiful countryside in our VW Van that my partner is converting to a Campervan.

9. Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about? I can’t call it skilful, but I passionately love design in all forms and adore colour and texture and all fibre art. I recently managed to convert our woodshed into my sewing studio and can’t wait to find the time to dive into my silk and linen staches that have been building up for a long time on my travels. 10. Beyond méthode traditionnelle wine, what is your favourite tipple to enjoy on the patio? I’m a girl from the Rhein, so its got to be a Riesling!!


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