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HomebioLucia Goodwin: Kenyan Minting Millions in Australia's Wine Industry

Lucia Goodwin: Kenyan Minting Millions in Australia’s Wine Industry

Lucia Godwin is the co-owner of Zhiro Wines, one of the fastest-growing wineries in Australia. The winery focuses mostly on sparkling wine – main flavours are lemon, strawberry, and honeyed-cread.

Lucia immigrated to Australia as a student, little did she know, she would co-found Zhiro Wines in 2016. In just two years of operation, the company was producing between 32,000 and 40,000 litres of wine every two months.

The company’s major market is in Australia, parts of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Being a hands-on boss, Lucia is personally involved in the entire wine-making process from pruning to fermentation. She is also aware of which wine to release into the market depending on when it was made.

“I also understand that wine ages at different times, distinct seasons, and depending on whether its red or white,” she said during an interview with Business Daily.

Lucia Goodwin is also a shareholder in a 750 vineyard that supplies grapes to her company. The farm is located in the Adelaide Hills, nestled in a plateau 425 metres above sea level.

She notes that the ancient soils, high altitude and cool climate are ideal for wine production.

“Before I started this business, the Australian regulations required me, like any other entrepreneur with ambitions of venturing into business to produce a certain minimum amount of wine. I didn’t have the capacity to do that, so I teamed up with this family that owned a vineyard,” she recounted.

“They helped me in the production before I got on my feet. With time I acquired a percentage of the farm”.

She developed interest in wine while she was studying.

“My first job was in occupation therapy where I would visit clients at their homes which I noticed were mostly named after vineyards. This sparked some curiosity in me and thus my interest in the industry,” she narrated.

Lucia Goodwin developed a passion for the art and found herself competing and winning mystery bottle competitions. She would correctly taste and identify different wine brands.

She later bagged a consultancy job with an Australian winery. She would blend the wine and then export to various markets.

“I was so good at selling this product that I felt I would be more resourceful if I directed this energy towards my own company,” she said.

Lucia Goodwin initially faced challenges proving herself as a serious investor in the largely male dominated industry.

“Being a woman and black, and from a country not known for wine production, it hasn’t been easy competing with for example Italian and French products,” she conceded.