Emma Farrelly

I began my career in the wine industry over 16 years ago, when I was just 21 years old. At the time I was working in fine dining and passionate about the food and wine industry, but seeking a focus for my career.  Dr Steve Charters MW was living in Perth at the time and Edith Cowan University was running a program based around him.  I completed six units over two years with Steve, building a solid foundation of wine knowledge with a primary focus on tasting and training my palate.

My studies led me to join Must Winebar in 2002, where over the course of eight years I worked my way from a casual waiter to Sommelier and Restaurant Manager. In that time I was nominated for ‘Sommelier of the Year’ in the 2008 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards and won ‘Best Wine Bar in Australia’ in the 2009 Wine List of the Year awards. A highlight of my experience at Must was being accepted into the Wine List of the Year ‘Hall of Fame’ after winning ‘Best Wine List in WA’ more than three times.

I left Must Winebar in 2009 to begin my family and whilst caring for two small children, I commenced my own consulting business, providing advice on wine lists and menus to a number of different venues including Varnish on King, The Flour Factory, The Leederville Hotel group, Red Cabbage, St Michael, Divido, The Beaufort St Merchant and Liberte at the London. This period gave me invaluable insight into a wide range of venues and clientele, and I was able to continue to develop my skills and network, focusing on unique producers and new trends within the industry.

In 2012 I was approached to help establish a new restaurant in the Perth CBD, The Trustee Bar & Bistro. I worked primarily with the company over the following three years and established a further two venues, Enriques School for to Bullfighting and The Shorehouse.

In early 2016 I was headhunted by the high profile new Perth enterprise State Buildings and joined them as Head Sommelier. I hold responsibility for seven unique venues within this precinct: Wildflower, POST, Petition Winebar, Petition Kitchen, Petition Beer Corner, Long Chim and The Treasury Lounge Bar. Each of the venues within The State Buildings is completely unique and I have maintained a very high level of wine knowledge in each venue, while keeping the clientele and demographic in mind. In two years my influence over the beverage program within the buildings has been very well received by all directors and management and earlier this year I was promoted to Director of Wine.

My profile in the wine industry in Western Australia has resulted in many invitations to consult, judge and market wine. My longstanding relationship with Off The Vine Distributors and Laurent Perrier Champagne has been a particular success, as in 2014 I was invited by Laurent Perrier to be inducted into the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne. I am an ongoing judge in the Young Gun of Wine competition and The Adelaide Review ‘Hot 100’. I have also participated in the 2017 Singapore Airlines Swan Valley Wine Show.

I was awarded Sommelier of the Year at the 2017 WA Good Food Guide awards and was recently nominated for Sommelier of the Year in the 2019 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards.

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