Louisa grew up and was educated in Melbourne, spending weekends in the Yarra Valley helping out on the family vineyard. She completed a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in physics, from Melbourne University and then relocated to South Australia and to Roseworthy College, to study winemaking, graduating as dux in 1992.
She worked the 1992 vintage as a cellar hand at Yalumba, Australia’s oldest family owned winemaker, in the Barossa, and returned to join the team in January 1993. Twenty five vintages later, Louisa has worked alongside many legends of Yalumba, being involved in almost every facet of viticulture, winemaking and management which led her to accepting the role of chief winemaker, which she quietly stepped into in 2006.
Particular focuses for Louisa have been the developmental work with Viognier and other alternative varieties, sustainability and the use of natural (wild or feral) yeast and bacteria to make the wines.
Louisa has been awarded for her work: 1999 Barossa Winemaker of the Year; 2004 International Woman in Wine (London IWSC); 2008 Gourmet Traveller WINE Magazine ‘Winemaker of the Year’ by; 2008 Wolf Blass Award for contribution to the development and promotion of Riesling; In 2013 Winemaker of the Year by the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology; and in August 2014 she was voted the best winemaker in Australia by 100 of her peers – winemakers, sommeliers and wine buyers from around the country.
Louisa also judges in both Australian and International Wine Shows and she is an active member of the Barossa winemaking fraternity The Barons of Barossa. She is Chairman of the Board of the Australian Wine Research Institute and past co-chair of the South Australian Wine Industry Council - an advisory group to the South Australian government. She is also the President of the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show.