Young Guns – Alysha Moscatt and Lucy Kendall


WINEMAKERS MAKING MOVES FOR WOMEN: Too often we hear stories of women having to break a glass ceiling to break into an industry. Alysha Moscatt and Lucy Kendall decided to make a platform for fellow winemakers above the glass to help others get a foothold in an industry that has long been a boys club. Harrison Davies chatted with Moscatt about what was next for their joint venture, Allevare Wines and the Joans of Marc.

Lucy Kendall from Allevre Wines

Like many in the grapegrowing and winemaking industry, Alysha Moscatt got involved because she was looking for a change of scenery.

After working as a large scale events florist in London for over a decade, she found herself back in Gippsland helping her mum work a small vineyard when the winemaking magic took hold and became a conduit for a whole new life.

Through winemaking, she met her partner Lucy Kendall, another winemaker and computer science student, with whom she began Allevare Wines, a boutique winery specialising in small vineyard wines.

“While Lucy was completing a Bachelor of Arts/Science she took a part-time job at Wine House in Southbank, it was there that she fell in love with wine,” Moscatt said.

“Working with inspiring people and getting to taste all the incredible vintages they stock there, she decided to take her passion further, move to Adelaide and complete her Masters in Oenology and Viticulture.

Moscatt said finding winemaking was a way for her to explore a new career.

“After meeting Lucy, we both moved to Tasmania, and I started working for a handful of people around Pipers Brook,” she said.

“I think living in a small wine community helped me realise the beautiful culture wine can create, I got to work for smaller boutique wineries and larger commercial ones, so it was great to see the contrast.”

Moscatt and Kendall started Allevare to focus on sustainable practises and to help build the winemaking community in Gippsland.

Now in their third vintage, they’re managing a sustainable vineyard in Maffra, Central Gippsland and are excited for what the 2022 vintage holds in store.

Moscatt said they used grapes both from their own vineyard and from other growers in neighbouring Victoria.

“We are currently leasing a sustainably run vineyard in Maffra, Central Gippsland, with Xavier Goodridge,” she explained.

“This is our first year looking after that vineyard, but we have seen the fruit quality come through in previous wines from the site, great acidity and minerality, so we’re really excited to see what vintage 2022 brings.

“We also source grapes from around Victoria, as Gippsland is more ‘up and coming’ in the wine industry there not a lot of fruit around.

“We like building a relationship with the growers we source from, it’s good to know that we can support good people in the industry and also enjoy working with a range of different varieties though as it keeps it interesting.”

“We like building a relationship with the growers we source from, it’s good to know that we can support good people in the industry and also enjoy working with a range of different varieties.” – Alysha Moscatt

Growing the community

Creating a louder voice for women and queer people in wines was important to Moscatt and Kendall when they started their label.

In 2020 they decided to take a bolder step to support the wine community and started an initiative to highlight the talents of queer winemakers; entitles “Joans of Marc’.

The program is a curated selection of wines made by women and queer winemakings in Australia and proceeds from sales go toward Mudgin-Gal Womens Centre, an aboriginal women’s centre in Sydney.

Mudgin-Gal, meaning ‘Women’s Place’, has been in operation for 29 years and is a unique service one hundred percent, run by Aboriginal women for Aboriginal women.

Moscatt said it was good way for them to support a variety of groups throughout the community and highlight the great wines that were being made.

“There are many beautiful things about the wine industry: the attention to place and wine’s centrality in celebration being two at the top of a long list,” she said.

“Joans of Marc is an initiative that supports marginalised people working in all aspects of wine, aiming to promote diversity and inspire a new wave of people wanting to enter the industry.

“Every two months or so we release a 6 packs that is curated by a sommelier/retailer, they choose which producers they feel need better representation in the industry and the packs are released to the public.”

The wine industry has been described by some as a bit of a “boys club”, which can make it hard for people who aren’t established in the industry themselves to get involved.

Moscatt discussed the challenges for women, and especially the queer community, to get their foot into the door in the wine industry.

“Diversity isn’t just a question of warm fuzzies, it’s
also about helping our industry mature into all
that it can be.” – Alysha Moscatt

“There’s a less-understood element of nepotistic ‘cliqueness’; where you won’t be accepted unless you know the right people, say the ‘right things’ or look like the usual suspects<’ she said.

“When the gate-keepers actively and willingly open the doors to human beings who haven’t been well-represented in our industry; such as POC, women, queer folks and other minorities for instance, we stand a chance of diversifying who drinks, pours and makes it.

“Diversity isn’t just a question of warm fuzzies, which we’re into in case anyone was asking, it’s also about helping our industry mature into all that it can be.

“We want winemaking to celebrate and actively seek out talent across the human spectrum.”

Moscatt and Kendall curate the selections in each Joans of Marc bundle alongside several collaborators.

The collection has features Allevare Wines as well as other producers like Mulline Vintners from Geelong, Steels Gate from Yarra Valley and even Boaz from California.

The collection is limited by availability and changes every other month.

Moscatt said it was a good way both for consumers to discover new winemakers and for producers to be inspired by each other.

“Nat Fryer has always been an inspiration for us, her skill set, approach to the industry and all-round beautiful personality is what we aspire to,” Moscatt said.

Onward and upward

Looking at the 2022 vintage, Moscatt said they were expecting a good year for 2022, but that the last few years have presented a multitude of challenges amongst wild weather and COVID restrictions.

“The stakes have been high this year being so wet, but everything is looking fantastic so far,” she said.

“We’re really excited for vintage 2022, the fruit looks good and after the last two years of lockdowns and pandemic-ness we’re looking forward to being able to celebrate with everyone.

“Lucy and I both work full time for boutique wineries in the area, so with our wine label, Allevare, Joans of Marc and both studying it’s been a busy year.”

As Gippsland becomes a more established wine region, Moscatt said that she and Kendall looked to eventually by some land to plant their roots a bit more.

“We would eventually love to buy a block of land to plant our own vineyard around the Gippsland area, in the meantime we’re enjoying working with Victorian growers to source the best quality fruit from good people,” she said.

“2022 will be our 3rd vintage under Allevare and we’re so excited to show you what we can offer.”


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