Born and bred in England, Helen McCarthy, St Hallett Senior Winemaker is not short of winemaking experience. In 1997 McCarthy took a leap of faith and dived into a winemaking degree at the University of Adelaide. On completion, she set about gaining invaluable experience with wineries such as Lindemans, Wynns, Seppelts and Penfolds.

Come 2003, McCarthy made a move to work in Clare Valley while still living in the Barossa to follow her passion for Riesling. During her time at Taylors Wines she was awarded the Gourmet Traveller Kemeny’s Medal for Young Winemaker of the Year, what she still considers one of her greatest achievements. McCarthy was also awarded People’s Choice Wine Society Young Winemaker of the year, won a scholarship to participate in the prestigious Len Evans Tutorial and was part of the Wine Industry Future Leaders Program. Simultaneously, she commenced a wine judging career that has seen her involved in a countless numbers of wine shows.

Yet, the calling of the Barossa became too strong and saw McCarthy return to a Barossa winery at the end of 2011. It was during her time at Thorn-Clarke Wines that her passion for the Barossa, particularly Eden Valley, was cemented. While working at Thorn-Clarke, she was awarded both the Peer and Consumer Wine Society Young Winemaker of the Year and had many of her wines recognised both domestically and internationally.  In 2015, McCarthy became the custodian of the Eden Valley icon Mountadam Vineyards and her passion for Eden Valley was again deepened. Recently joining St Hallett Wines in 2019, McCarthy is looking forward to working with fruit grown all over the Barossa. She loves being able to satisfy the nerd part of her brain while also challenging her more hippy creative side too as a winemaker. As the now Senior Winemaker of St Hallett, she hopes to develop the portfolio to highlight the diversity and quality of Barossa Shiraz.

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