Jasmine Morgan, winner of Cellar Door Person of the Year at the 2017 Australian Women in Wine Awards (AWIWA), talks to Ray Ruano about diversity and navigating the wine business.
As cellar door manager and an events coordinator, Jasmine Morgan has coordinated 18 weddings, two proposals, and her very own wedding day at Caudo Vineyards.
Along the way, she's also forged a successful career, which she attributes to her creativity and a passion for the Australian wine industry.
Discovering her passion and moving forward
Morgan planned on becoming an architect after high school, but once she took a gap year to save money to move to the city, she got a job as a cellar hand at a local winery, and fell in love with the dynamics of winemaking.
“I moved to the city and was halfway through my architectural bachelor degree [when] an opportunity presented itself to move back to the Riverland (my home region) and work in a new cellar door, Caudo Vineyard, that was growing and fast becoming popular,” said Morgan.
She decided to take the position and a new career was born.
“Dropping out of my degree felt like the worst thing to do at the time but looking back now, I don’t regret a thing!” Morgan said.
Working in and navigating the wine business
Caudo Vineyard is located on the Murray River in Riverland.
“I love the people, the river, [and] my wine,” said Morgan. “Selling wine is only one part of my job. I am also showcasing the region, the environment and the Riverland lifestyle.”
As cellar door manager, Morgan continues to learn about the wine industry and grow her skill set.
“Leadership skills are incredibly important to run a successful team.” Morgan said. “You must be organised, efficient, [and] social. Friendly, social interactive customer skills are essential in the drinks industry.”
As a wedding coordinator, Morgan admits she's a bit of a romantic and has perfected the art of organising weddings through the gradual gain of insight and knowledge.
“Weddings are such a beautiful and unforgettable day and playing a part in creating the perfect day is so rewarding,” said Morgan. “Caudo Vineyard is a beautiful cellar door on the Murray River, and it really is an easy choice as a wedding destination.”
Although Morgan is relatively new to the wine business, she continues to grow, create, and welcome new opportunities.
“As a young person with little experience, opportunity is rare and you can't sit back, you need to create them yourself,” Morgan said.
"I am always continually learning and growing my skill set. I have learnt so much from my employers and their business skills."
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace
Women continue to be underrepresented and underappreciated throughout the wine industry, but by making diversity and inclusion a priority in any business, great things can be achieved.
“Caudo Vineyard has done an excellent job of maintaining a diverse and inclusive team of staff,” said Morgan. “There is a real family vibe that runs from the family business owners through to their staff, and it makes for a great [and] successful work environment.
As for women who are interested in a career in the wine industry, Morgan believes in the power of effective and constant networking.
“Meet like-minded industry people to build contacts [and] get to know your customers,” said Morgan. “You need to take these opportunities and make the most of them."
Morgan encourages others to ‘throw yourself out there’ as she did when she applied for the Australian Women in Wine Awards.
“Receiving this award has given me so much pride and confidence that I know is going to keep me on my wine journey,” said Morgan. “Recognition is very important, so put yourself in the spotlight to be seen.”
To learn more about Caudo Vineyards, click here and Morgan's wedding planning, click here.