Compass Wine Consulting offers a suite of winemaking and winery management advisory services focussed on achieving optimal wine quality through a detailed approach from the vine through to the glass and anywhere in between
A highly experienced and respected winemaker, Compass Wine Consulting director Samantha Connew has been consulting to a selective group of Australian wineries since 2013. Prior to that, she was engaged by the Australian Wine Research Institute as manager of the Hunter Valley Node, working on a range of regional applied research, development and extension projects. She has also worked as the winemaker/manager of boutique Hunter Valley winery, Tower Estate, after being employed in McLaren Vale for ten years as senior winemaker at Wirra Wirra Vineyards.
Amongst her many achievements, in 2007 Samantha was awarded ‘International Red Winemaker of the Year’ at the prestigious International Wine Challenge in London, and in 2008 she was a South Australian finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards. In 2004, she was a finalist for the Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine’s prestigious ‘Winemaker of the Year’ title, sponsored by Qantas.
Samantha is a highly respected wine show judge and is a panel chair and senior judge at many regional and capital city wine shows, having completed both the Advanced Wine Assessment Course and the Len Evans Tutorial. She is the current Chair of Judges at the Royal Sydney Wine Show. She also contributes to the AWRI’s Advanced Wine Assessment Course as a guest judge.
In addition, Samantha has served on the boards of several regional associations and was a board member of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology from 2011 to 2013. From 2004 to 2009 she was an export panel inspector for the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation. She is currently a board member of the Australian Women in Wine Industry Awards.
In late 2013 she launched her first solo project Stargazer with Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chardonnay sourced from premium Tasmanian vineyards. The wines have received much critical acclaim and commercial success with James Halliday awarding her inaugural Pinot Noir 95 points and Jeni Port nominating it as her favourite Pinot Noir in 2013.