Established by her father in 1980, Bec Hardy has taken over the ownership of McLaren Vale brand Pertaringa, becoming the first female member of the Hardy family to own her own vineyard and produce her own wine.
On 1st July, sixth generation Hardy family member Bec took over the ownership and running of Pertaringa together with her husband and company joint managing director, Richard Dolan.
The Hardy name has been synonymous with South Australian wine since the 1850s and Bec Hardy continues that tradition, building on the experience and reputation of her predecessors.
“My family has been tending vineyards in the premium maritime region of McLaren Vale since the early 1850s when my great-great-great grandfather, Thomas Hardy, arrived from the UK,” Bec said, “He went on to become one of McLaren Vale’s first settlers and is widely regarded as the father of the South Australian wine industry.”
In 1980, Bec’s father Geoff left the then family-owned Hardys to make his own way in the Australian wine world. The same year, he purchased the Pertaringa vineyard in the foothills of McLaren Vale.
Inspired by her father’s passion for cultivating premium fruit and producing fine wines, Bec also went on to study and work in the wine industry in both Australia and overseas. In 2010, she returned to South Australia and joined her father’s company, Wines by Geoff Hardy.
Bec taking over the Pertaringa element of the business has been part of the family’s succession planning for years and is a natural progression of the sixth generation continuing the hard work of their predecessors. It will be ‘business as usual’ in the short term, as the team continues to work with the group of McLaren Vale growers who have been instrumental in fueling Pertaringa’s success, ensuring consistency in the quality and style of wines. Going forwards, Bec will consider additional recruitment to strengthen the winemaking team, to further complement the brand’s evolving style and philosophy.
“I’m really excited to start this new chapter and very grateful to my parents for giving me this opportunity,” Bec continues, “While we never envisioned acquiring Pertaringa in the midst of a global pandemic, this is something my family has been working together on for some time. We’re grateful to my mum and dad for allowing Richard and I to become the next custodians of the Pertaringa brand, which celebrates its fortieth year in 2020 and makes up about 80% of the Wines by Geoff Hardy business. We understand the business well, having managed it successfully since 2011, and seeing it grow to be five times the size today as it was back then.”
Immediate plans include refurbishing the Pertaringa cellar door, to appropriately reflect the premium aesthetic of the brand, and provide a welcoming space for wine-lovers to relax and learn more about the portfolio. Renowned interior designer Georgie Shepherd has been appointed to oversee the project, which is scheduled for completion later in July, in time to welcome visitors back to McLaren Vale following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Bec and Richard also plan to continue their successful export journey, as and when international travel opens up and it is appropriate and safe to do so. Together, the couple grew Wines by Geoff Hardy’s wine exports by 788% and achieved eight years of double-digit export growth – culminating in being named Australian Exporter of the Year 2017 and Regional Exporter of the Year 2019.
Geoff and Fiona Hardy will continue to manage the running of the K1 brand and cellar door, as well as associated events.