Judy Kelly left a successful international career in sales and marketing to start ArtWine with her partner Glen Kelly in 2009. A big, bold move for anyone! But she hasn’t looked back. ArtWine has already made a strong name for itself with its focus on producing alternative varieties, taking a page from the Europeans who drink lighter styles, that are lower alcohol and more food friendly.
ArtWine has two vineyards and vineyard accommodation in the Clare Valley and a vineyard and cellar door at Woodside in the Adelaide Hills.
Here is Judy’s fabulous story!
When did you first enter the wine industry & why?
I have always been interested in wine and became very involved when I was Marketing Director for Hyatt Hotel. Then I met my now husband (Glen Kelly) who had owned vineyards for years and has a mutual love of alternative varieties, and together we have created our label ArtWine which we launched in 2009. Best decision ever!
What does your current role involve?
As well as being co-owner, I am the Sales and Marketing Manager, so I look after all the sales and marketing for our business and I also manage our cellar door which has now been open for four years. The strategic decisions for the business are shared between us, generally over dinner and a glass of wine!]
From where/what regions do you source your grapes?
We grow 15 varieties and produce 18 wines.
All our fruit is Estate Grown – which means it comes only from our own three vineyards. Two of which are in the the Clare Valley and one is in the Adelaide Hills. The Adelaide Hills vineyard is where our beautiful cellar door is located. We have planned our alternative grape varieties for many years and now have the largest “alternative varietal” vineyards in the Clare Valley.
What’s the philosophy behind ArtWine?
We believe that art and wine go hand in hand. When we met I was the artistic and creative side and my husband had the vines with an analytical mind, hence ArtWine.
Art is becoming more evident in the vineyard and around Cellar Door. We are working with an artist who has transformed our outdoor barrels and working on a major unique masterpiece my latest idea – watch out for that one.
Our label has been designed to be artistic, colourful and different, and we aim to be a leader in “alternative varietals”, making top quality interesting and exotic food friendly wines. We firmly believe in the European way of life that a meal should include wine as a daily part of life.
From the range of wines produced by ArtWine, what are your personal favourites?
To date our wines have won 11 Trophies (including 2 Winestate Wine of the Year) and 197 medals (will be over 200 by the time anyone reads this).
I love all our wines equally as a good mother should……. However I am currently in love with our Fiano (don’t tell!). Our very first vintage, and the first from the Clare Valley, gave us 2 major Gold medals at the Royal Melbourne & Royal Adelaide wine shows. Who doesn’t love a successful and gifted child that also tastes divine?
WHAT WAS THE FIRST WINE YOU EVER TRIED?
Sweet Spanish Sauterne in England and Yes there was lots of Mauteuse Rose along the way.
I started to really understand wine by travelling to France daily (had a role when I was young (lied about my age just a bit) as a Purser on a cross channel Car ferry from Southampton to France) and dated the barman who had a wonderful knowledge of French wines. He introduced me to the world of French Champagne, Chateau Neuf de Pap and Chateau Mouton Rothschild etc to name a couple – my palate was awakened and the wine light was on and has never flickered!
What’s your all-time favourite food & wine match?
Pinot Noir & Duck – its a match made in heaven!
If you had to describe yourself as a wine it would be….
Delightful aromatics of fun. Full bodied with strong legs. Lingering palate and good depth of flavour.
WHAT are some things MIGHT PEOPLE NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU?
- I’m a qualified Interior Designer, with a Real Estate Licence & Auctioneers licence.
- I’ve lived on 4 continents – not planning the 5th – too cold!
- I’ve run a couple of B&B’s in the Clare Valley.
- If I wasn’t in wine I would be a practising interior designer with no 50’s retro mid century modern in sight!
Favourite way to while away a Sunday afternoon?
Lazy lunch with good friends, fuelled with great food and wines and toppings of laughter.
I’ve also written and had published a series of 8 gift books – Vine Lines was the first, then Life Lines, Love Lines, Felines & Wag Lines. Turning 40, Turning 50 & Turning 60. Have another more serious book (or two) in me – when time permits down the track.
Flats or heels?
One leg on each side of the wine barrel on this one!
I have too many shoes (shoeaholic) but these days always in flats – have a passion for boots (bootaholic?) and I’m also a scarfoholic and a self confessed Pinotphile.
If there was one thing you wish you could tell the sisterhood of wine lovers out there, what would it be?
Experiment, taste, discover and learn more about wines and enjoy them with good food, but most importantly make it all FUN and match with shoes!!!
Surround yourself with things you love and use them daily – always eat, drink and most importantly BE the best you can. Turn up and dress up …. or the other way around -lol!