Louisa 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 to Roseworthy Campus of The University of Adelaide, to study winemaking, graduating as dux in 1992.

She 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. Twenty eight vintages later, Louisa has worked alongside many legends of Yalumba, being involved in almost every facet of viticulture, winemaking and management which led her to accepting the role of chief winemaker, which she quietly stepped into in 2006.

Particular focuses for Louisa have been the developmental work with Viognier and other alternative varieties, sustainability and the use of natural (wild or feral) yeast and bacteria to make the wines. Under Louisa’s stewardship all Yalumba wines, from vintage 2012, are made without the use of animal based fining agents – making them ‘vegan’ wines.

Louisa has been awarded 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; 2013 Winemaker of the Year by the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology; and 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.

Louisa was inducted as Grand Master of the Barossa winemaking fraternity Barons of Barossa in August 2019. She judges in both Australian and International Wine Shows, currently the chair of judges of the Adelaide wine show and the Australian National Single Vineyard wine show. She is Chairman of the Board of the Australian Wine Research Institute and chair of the Alumni Council of The University of Adelaide. In 2017 Louisa was named a Fellow of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology.