Nina Stocker is the Chief Winemaker at Brave Goose Winery. Along with her husband and business partner, John Day, Nina lives on the young family’s central Victorian property, known as Glendoxey, where they grow Shiraz, Viognier, Cabernet, Merlot and Gamay. A shining example of today’s female winemaking talent, Nina has made wine for brands all over the world – from the Rhône Valley to Yarra, McLaren Vale to Marlborough, Central Otago to Barolo.
Tell us about you and your business
My husband John and I run a mixed farming enterprise in Central Victoria. John focuses on his cattle breeding and farm business, as well as managing our small vineyard, while I make our wines and run the wine business side of our enterprise.
Tell us about your support of the RCH
We export our wine to the UK through a company called Naked Wines. Last year, I was honoured to be named a finalist for their Winemaker of the Year award. The three finalists were asked to pitch to their customers a new wine we would love to make, and why. As part of the pitch, we also had to put forward a good cause where profits of the wine would be donated to. The winner of Winemaker of the Year would be able to make their selected wine, with profits going to their selected good cause.
I choose to make a Coonawarra Cabernet because I love the region and the wines, with profits going to the RCH Kookaburra ward. I didn’t win the award, but amazingly Naked Wines decided to fund all three projects, allowing us to make this Cabernet. In the end, we were able to donate $15,000 to RCH. Even more exciting was that Naked Wines offered to match our donation – resulting in a $30,000 donation.
Why is supporting the RCH important to you?
My best friend Jess’s little boy was treated for a life-threatening rare bone marrow disorder called Aplastic Anaemia at the RCH. The medical miracle made possible by the doctors at the RCH – transplanting bone marrow from a donor in Germany into this brave little boy – and his subsequent complete recovery was just incredible. It was a horrific ordeal for Jess and her whole family, but his brave fight and the extraordinary medical team that treated him are an inspiration to me and my family. During the long and painful diagnosis, illness, and then treatment, we felt so powerless to help, so making this donation to this ward at the Royal Children’s Hospital to help more little kids, and families like Jess’s, means the world to us.
Thinking about Christmas, the festive season, what is your favourite food and wine combination for family celebrations?
We love Prosecco paired with prawns on the BBQ – simple, fresh, and delicious! Or of course Cabernet and steaks on the campfire!
How do you celebrate the holiday season with your team?
It is a busy time on the farm and in the vineyard, but we always make sure we spend as much time as possible relaxing by our river over the holidays with friends and family.
What would you say to other businesses who are looking to support the RCH?
If you can, do it! We are so privileged to have such a world class children’s’ hospital close by and supporting it to continue the extraordinary work they do is crucial.