WORDS BY ALICIA LÜDI-SCHUTZ
When it comes to talking Barossa, one Tanunda mother is doing her region proud. Zana Irwin says being part of the Jacob’s Creek team has allowed her to tell the world about the area she loves.
“I am a very proud Barossa ambassador,” she says.
“I feel like I am in a position to make a difference and help to drive visitation to the Barossa because of the global awareness of our brand, we really do help put the region on the map.”
Seated in her upstairs office at Jacob’s Creek with its stunning views inspiring her every day, it’s easy to see why Zana says she “lives and breathes” Barossa.
She’s worked for the winery for close to nine years and is now the Business Development Advisor, working with the company’s brand home managers as well as the tourism and events manager – a position she has held previously.
But growing up in the Barossa, Zana never imagined a career in the wine industry, let alone the opportunities it would provide.
“When I was in Year 12 at Nuriootpa High School, I thought I was going to be a nurse and while I was doing my final exams, I changed my mind,” she says.
“I thought, I don’t know what I want to do. Then I transferred into my course and majored in event management.”
Following the completion of her university degree, Zana left the Barossa and moved to Canada for two years on a working holiday where she not only found her future husband, Jon who “followed” her back to Australia, but also re-discovered the treasure that was her home region.
“Honestly, it was like I saw the Barossa through different eyes altogether,” Zana says of her return.
“I visited over 25 countries and I went to a lot of wine regions and tourist hot spots when I was living abroad. Then when I came back here, I could see we were competitors and we were up there with the best locations in the world.
“Growing up here, I never really stopped and went wow, how beautiful is this area? I took it for granted.”
“I feel like I am in a position to make a difference and help to drive visitation to the Barossa because of the global awareness of our brand, we really do help put the region on the map.” – Zana Irwin
Dynamic, fast-paced, organised and driven are the words that best describe Zana who is passionate about the visitor experiences that she and the team at Jacob’s Creek have created. She describes the hive of activity when busloads of tourists from around the world arrive and “take over” the Jacob’s Creek venue.
“It’s so much fun because all of a sudden you almost feel you’re transported to another country and you can see they are truly amazed by what we have to offer.”
Jacob’s Creek offers an ‘introduction to wine’ experience for those looking to test their brain and challenge their taste buds. It’s a sensory experience that covers food and wine parings with common and unusual combinations.
You can also try your hand at creating your own signature blend of wine. ‘Blend’ by Jacob’s Creek is a bespoke and a truly personalised wine experience. You can work with the ‘Master Blenders’ who assist you to discover your wine taste preferences, shape your very own unique Blend of wine, then watch as your personalised bottle is produced on site.
With the superb spring weather now upon us, The Jacob’s Creek gourmet picnic is that ‘extra special’ way to scenic outdoors. Wander along the creek, past the old fig tree and sit down by the Jacob’s Family’s homestead to enjoy the Barossa at its best.
If you have some extra time up your sleeve, sit down and allow yourself to be immersed in the tale of the Barossa in our Jacob’s Creek Master Class experience. This 2-hour sensory journey includes truly remarkable wine and food pairings, showcasing the Barossa, Jacob’s Creek, and the international love of this Aussie favourite.
And for all the budding chefs, Jacob’s Creek offer a hands-on cooking experience. Held in the outdoor garden at the historic Jacob’s Estate, this intimate class involves picking fresh produce from the kitchen garden, which will then be specially prepared into a hearty feast. After your cooking skills have been put to the test, you will enjoy a leisurely lunch matched with Jacob’s Creek wines.
Zana’s passion for Barossa shines as she discussed the upcoming plans for the site and new ideas to best showcase what the region has to offer. So, if you’re a local entertaining guests or tourist visiting the Barossa, do yourself a favour and drop into Jacob’s Creek to experience first-hand what Zana and the team have created. We know you won’t be disappointed.
BOOK YOUR EXPERIENCE TODAY
Get in touch with the local team at St Hugo’s restaurant…
PHONE 08 8521 3000