The Pam Dunsford Trophy for Best Chardonnay
In 1974 as Australia’s first qualified female winemaker, Pam went to Wynns Glenloth Winery in Reynella. She worked there until 1986. Pam learnt her practical winemaking skills working for Morgan Yeatman at Glenloth and her seminal academic education occurred when her employers, Wynns Winegrowers, agreed to her request to take a Masters Degree at Davis, University of California, where she studied with luminaries such as Vern Singleton and Roger Boulton in 1978-1979.
Pam was part the Wynns White Winemaking team that embraced technological advances like night harvesting and yeast and bacteria selections. Glenloth received night harvested Riesling and Chardonnay from Coonawarra and Padthaway. The first harvests of Chardonnay in the South-East were in 1982 and received by Pam. Later, while consulting at Chapel Hill, Pam developed and refined the Chardonnay wine styles we love today with much of the fruit coming from Coonawarra and Padthaway.
After Wynns, Pam gained a Churchill Scholarship which she spent in Champagne, France. Upon returning to Australia, she became a consultant. Her clients included Chapel Hill, Darguard and Jaegle, TAFE Catering school at Regency Park, Roseworthy College and Padthaway Estate. For the Partners at Padthaway Estate, she commissioned a woolshed winery with a reproduction Champagne press and convinced Ron Potter to make it. And to this day, it is the only one of its type in Australia.
Pam’s stamp on the development of Australian Chardonnay styles, and the further development of traditional sparkling production techniques are marked permanently in the DNA of the wine regions of the Limestone Coast.
Never one to stand still, in 2008 Pam embarked on a career change and commenced studies in Anthropology. However, the winemaking fraternity did not let her step away completely, and she continues to give generous guidance, inspiration and friendship to many young and older winemakers alike.
Pam was the honored guest at the Limestone Coast Wine Show Dinner in 2019.