Pam Dunsford grew up in an era where young women did not hold winemaking positions. Having studied a degree in bio-chemistry and horticulture from the University of Adelaide, it was during this time she became interested in wine. In 1972, Pam became the first female to be accepted to Roseworthy College to study Oenolgy.
Pam Dunsford is not unaccustomed to breaking the mould throughout her 40 year winemaking career. Not only was she the first female to be accepted into Roseworthy, she was the first woman to occupy an important winemaking position in a large company, the first female winemaker to become a wine-show judge, the first woman to be employed by Krug, among the first women wine educators and winemaking consultants in Australia and today, became the first woman Legend of the Vine in South Australia, presented at the 2019 Wine Communicators of Australian (WCA) Royal Adelaide Wine Show Lunch.
Dunsford received this honour in recognition of her outstanding contribution and service to the Australian and South Australian wine industry.
With over 40+ years as a winemaker, Dunsford is well known for paving the way for many women winemakers in Australia and for her guts and determination. It’s that courage of her convictions to do what she believes in – not just what is popular – that has defined her career.
Her first role in the wine industry was with Wynns Winery in McLaren Vale from 1974 to 1986. After leaving Wynns, Dunsford gained a Churchill Scholarship, where she spent her time in Champagne, France. Upon returning to Australia, Dunsford became a consultant and lectured at Roseworthy and the Hotel School at Regency Park. In 1981, Dunsford started working for Chapel Hill, a legacy that lasted 19 years.
Toni Carlino, WCA chair reflects on the announcement, “Pam Dunsford, has shown great determination and resilience throughout her career. Her impact on the Australian wine industry is paramount and has paved the way for many within it today. We are honoured to award Pam our 2019 South Australia Legend of the Vine”
Pam is the sixth person to achieve legend status in South Australia and she joins his fellow wine colleagues and professionals Tony Love (2018), Brian Walsh (2017), d’Arry Osbourne (2016), Bill Hardy (2015) and Patrick Iiland (2014).