"I wanted to find grapes that were suitable for both the Chinese and the local Australian market."
Liping Wang turned a vineyard in Heathcote Victoria into an award-winning winery.
In 2008, Liping and her son Tony visited Australia on a holiday and quickly fell in love with the Victorian lifestyle. She described how the state stood out as the most liveable and stress-free place to start a business when compared to the other major cities they had visited.
It wasn’t long before Liping purchased the Lake Cooper Estate in Heathcote, which was growing grapes to sell to wine makers in the area. “A lot of international investors choose to buy an already established wine brand. I wanted to find the land that had the potential to produce quality grapes.”
With a wall of awards behind her, Liping explained the importance of the land to the success of her winery. “Every wine market has their own flavour preference. I wanted to find grapes that were suitable for both the Chinese and the local Australian market.”
Liping has turned Lake Cooper Estate into a successful brand name that employs a dozen people and has simultaneously raised international awareness for the Heathcote region. “I found that most of the Chinese community were only familiar with the famous wine regions in Australia like the Barossa and Yarra valleys. In the beginning I put a lot of attention and resources into raising awareness of the Heathcote region”.
The local government has recognised Lake Cooper Estate’s extraordinary role in bringing attention to the region and is assisting Liping with connecting to local designers and builders, to expand the winery to include dining and accommodation.
“This winery has a rich Aboriginal heritage. Visitors will be able to stay and enjoy this land’s history.”
Liping enjoys being able to work close to Melbourne, so she can enjoy the opera and art galleries in the city’s central business district.
When asked about what advice she had for young female entrepreneurs, Liping emphasised how important learning patience has been since arriving in Australia.
“My advice is to think long term, not short term. The wine making process is long. So many people are looking for a quick turn over when they could take their time to build something special”.