Louisa Rose grew up and was educated in Melbourne, spending weekends in the Yarra Valley helping out on the family vineyard. She completed a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in physics, from Melbourne University and then relocated to South Australia and the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy campus to study winemaking, graduating as dux in 1992.
Rose worked the 1992 vintage as a cellar hand at Yalumba – Australia’s oldest family-owned winemaker – in the Barossa, and returned to join the team in January 1993. Thirty vintages later, she has worked alongside many legends of Yalumba, been involved in almost every facet of viticulture, winemaking and management, and been head winemaker since 2006.
From the beginning Rose been a champion of viognier and riesling from Yalumba’s Eden Valley vineyards. They are her passion and forte, as well as driving sustainability and the use of natural (wild or feral) yeast and bacteria to make the wines. Under Rose’s stewardship all Yalumba wines, from vintage 2012, are vegan and made without the use of animal-based fining agents.
Rose has won many awards for her work: 1999 Barossa Winemaker of the Year, 2004 International Woman in Wine (London IWSC), 2008 Gourmet Traveller WINE Magazine Winemaker of the Year; 2008 Wolf Blass Award for contribution to the development and promotion of riesling, and 2013 Winemaker of the Year by the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology. In August 2014 she was voted the best winemaker in Australia by 100 of her peers: winemakers, sommeliers and wine buyers from around the country. In 2020 Rose was given Yalumba’s highest honour, being named the signatory for The Signature cabernet shiraz 2016.
Rose was inducted as grand master of the Barossa winemaking fraternity Barons of Barossa in August 2019. She judges both Australian and international wine shows, currently as chair of judges for the Adelaide Wine Show and the Australian National Single Vineyard Wine Show, and also chairs both the Australian Wine Research Institute Board and the Alumni Council of The University of Adelaide. In 2017 Rose was named a Fellow of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology.