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CHLOE OPPITZ

We put a call-out to the women in Australian distilling to give us an insight into who they are, and why they chose this industry, here’s some of their responses!


CHLOE OPPITZ

Distiller at Lawrenny Estate Distillery, TAS


HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE INDUSTRY?


4-7 years


WHAT SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN THE INDUSTRY?


"Growing up with immigrant grandparents, I always had a strong cultural connection to spirits from a young age. It wasn't until I started working closely with spirits from a hospitality setting that I developed a strong curiosity regarding how spirit was made. I fell deeply in love with Tasmanian single malt whisky and convinced myself that I could contribute to the craftmanship of distillation. The more I learnt about the craft, the stronger the pull was to join this unique industry where the fusion of science and creativity blended together perfectly."


YOUR MOST PROUD MOMENTS IN THE INDUSTRY?


"Personally, just seeing my colleagues and peers get recognition for all their hard work. I think there's a slight underestimation of the amount of dedication and talent that needs to go into a product. And constantly seeing Australian Spirit win prestigious international awards is the recognition the artisans of the industry deserve. The Lawrenny team recently got terrific results from the San Francisco Spirit Awards, and I'm so incredibly proud and grateful that this team of hardworking and passionate individuals can be reassured that the love they have for the spirit is recognised."


WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND TO BE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN THE INDUSTRY?


"Mental health awareness. In my opinion, more distilleries need to have an open discussion about mental health both within the workplace and outside of it. Being able to create an unstigmatised environment where people are happy and comfortable starts with a workplace that is mental health aware. I believe the foundations of this industry was built on mateship, and it's important to remember that."


WHAT WOULD YOU TELL SOMEONE THAT KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT AUSSIE CRAFT SPIRITS?


"That the industry is still in its infancy. Considering the quality we're putting out now, imagine just how good it's gonna get!"


WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD WANT TO TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF?


"Don't judge yourself or others by their mistakes as they are important lessons."


WHAT IS YOUR PARTY TRICK?


"My party trick is my ability to have Lady Gaga's whole lyrical catalogue ready to go at any point. Yes, this is an open invitation for karaoke."


WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU THE MOST IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?


"I've had multiple people inspire me throughout my distilling career thus far. The two that come to mind are Joe Dinsmore and Matt Lowe. I am so grateful to currently work alongside Joe, his talent and knowledge inspire me every day. Joe has taught me many lessons in distilling and in life and so graciously continues to encourage me. Matt showed me the importance of mentorship and continues to be a pillar of support. Both these people inspire me to not only believe in myself but to equally believe in others."


WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT US TO KNOW?


"I really want to encourage the importance of education, especially junior distillers. Backing someone about what path be shared."

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