Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi of Ballandean Estate on the Granite Belt has been honoured with the prestigious Samuel Bassett Award at the 36th Queensland Wine Awards. One of Australia’s most influential woman in wine, Leeanne is the third Puglisi family member to receive this award, which recognises a major contribution by an individual to the Queensland wine industry.

“I am truly humbled by this. To stand in the company of industry greats such as Terry Morris from Sirromet and my wine pioneer parents is awe-inspiring. Educating national and international consumers about the quality of Queensland wines is what drives me. That and expanding on my family’s legacy to the Granite Belt,’ says Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi.

Leeanne’s father Angelo Puglisi, Ballandean Estate’s founder and industry pioneer was presented with the inaugural Basset award in 2003. Estate Matriarch Mary Puglisi was the first female to be recognised for her contribution to the Queensland wine industry with this award in 2015. Estate manager and sister Robyn Puglisi-Henderson collected the award on Leeanne’s behalf in Brisbane on Tuesday 4 September. “I picked up the award on her behalf, as Leeanne was at a board meeting of Australian Grape and Wine in Adelaide. This is yet another place where she is the voice of Queensland wine, making sure we are not forgotten,” Puglisi-Henderson said.

Business and Export Manager Robyn Puglisi-Henderson developed the export trade from zero to 20 per cent of business turnover in just five years, and has opened up export trade to China, where there is significant demand for Ballandean’s premium reds. Leeanne and Robyn’s grandmother Josephine was a business woman who arrived in Australia from Sicily at just 12 years of age. She went on to build the foundation of Ballandean Estate with her father and husband over four decades. During World War 2, she negotiated a deal to supply their crops to feed the Army as an alternative.

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