This article about Seifried Estate continues the series of articles about women working in the wine industry. Agnes Seifried and her daughters Heidi and Anna all have an integral role to play in the Seifried Estates business and even though it is a family business Heidi and Anna have had to earn their place in the business.
Hermann and Agnes started Seifried Estate about 40 years ago and Agnes says while they always hoped their children would be involved in the business she and Hermann also knew they had to find their own way in life and come back to the family business if and when they were ready.
Since the early 2000’s the Seifried children have all drifted back into working full-time for the business, bringing experience gained in other countries and businesses with them. They have reintegrated nicely into a business that was going through a significant growth phase at the time, building and relocating into a new winery complex and significantly increasing their vineyard plantings; the children all had real jobs to come back to, not just jobs created for them in the family business.
Heidi’s first qualification was as a dental surgeon and she worked in that industry full-time for three years in NZ, Australia and the UK, before coming back to Lincoln University where she completed her Post Grad Diploma in Viticulture and Oeneology. She still spends some time honing her dentistry skills on a part time basis while juggling a young family and working as a winemaker in the family business four days a week.
Anna has a Marketing Degree from Otago, as well as a Post Grad Diploma in Wine Marketing from Adelaide University. She spent a few years in Australia working with Coles Myer, before returning home in 2003 to work alongside Agnes in the sales and marketing of the family wines.
Anna’s primary role now is the NZ sales & marketing for Seifried Estate but she is also responsible for planning and delivering everything Seifried Estates does to ensure their wines continue to be sold in about 21 countries. When I had a chat with Anna about her role in the business she told me, in her usual understated way, that everyone in the family is involved in selling wine she only plans it and makes sure it happens. Anna says everyone in the family has a role representing the business in the market place. Winemaker (and brother), Chris, spends many hours in airplanes and hotel rooms around the world as does every other member of the family
None of the Seifried family have job titles on their business card, if a job needs doing it gets done and if that means if Anna has to leave her desk and spend some time on the bottling line she does – “it’s a good opportunity to make sure we all know our own business inside out” says Anna.
It is obvious the Seifried daughters have inherited their parent’s huge capacity for work and I am sure these very talented, hard working women will ensure Seifried Estate Wines will continue to thrive and grow.