Many wine drinkers want to know how their wine was produced or whether it's biodynamic, but there's less interest in who made what's in the glass. New wine delivery service Joans of Marc is trying to change that, one half-dozen at a time.
Each month, a new box is released featuring under-represented groups in the wine industry, with bottles hand-picked by a member of that group accompanied by postcards containing information on the makers. This month, it's the turn of Women and Revolution, a group of sommeliers and winemakers who want to see more women forging careers in the industry.
Winemaker Alysha Moscatt started Joans of Marc with her partner Lucy Kendall after seeing relatively few women represented at wine events and other public forums, despite them making up more than a third of the industry.
"I think the wine industry has really changed a lot in the last few years and people are really pushing for diversity," says Moscatt. "But it's not happening as quick as other industries."
By packaging up delicious wines and giving different groups their time in the spotlight, Moscatt and Kendall want to alter people's perceptions of who works in the industry, and eventually act as a resource for retailers and event planners who want to better represent the industry's diversity.
Joans of Marc has just released its third pack, a selection of wines from Italy, Germany, France and Spain whose labels bear men's names but are run by women, usually a female descendant of the founder.
The three boxes released have focused on women winemakers, but there are plans for LGBTQI boxes and more. Each box also donates its profits to charity.
Moscatt and Kendall, who both hold down full-time jobs, study and make wine under their own label, Allevare, don't make any money from Joans of Marc. Once costs of packaging, postage and other essentials are taken out, the money from each box goes to a charity selected by that month's guest curator.
So far, $1700 has been donated to Djirra, a specialist family violence service for Aboriginal women in Victoria. This month, the charity of choice is Mudgin-Gal, a similar organisation that operates in Sydney.
The name Joans of Marc, contributed by Clare Burder of Eminence Wines in the King Valley, is a play on feminist hero Joan of Arc and marc, the term for the grape skins, stems and other solids that are left behind after grapes are pressed for juice. Marc can be used to make spirits such as grappa or a lighter style of drink called piquette (tipped to be this summer's hit drink).
Orders for the current six-pack ($265) close on October 10. Order at allevarewines.com