Vigneron Bec Hardy has been recognised as one of South Australia’s finest young business people at the annual ’40 under 40’ awards at a ceremony held at the Adelaide Convention Centre.
This programme, which is in its fourth year, recognises not only the personal determination and commercial drive of these business leaders under 40 and the philanthropic pursuits they balance alongside their professional achievements. Hardy was one of 40 chosen from 640 referrals and 230 applications this year.
At 39, she is the co-Managing Director of Bec Hardy Wines, a family-owned premium wine company based in McLaren Vale. As sixth-generation member of one of Australia’s oldest wine families, the Hardys, Bec is bringing decades of tradition to the company, balanced with her own strategic approach to brand and business growth.
In 2020, celebrating 40 years and as part of the family’s natural success planning, she acquired the Pertaringa brand from her father Geoff to join the Bec Hardy Wines portfolio. She faced significant challenges as a result of the pandemic-imposed restrictions, primarily the lack of travel, which affected her relationships-based export strategy, alongside the difficulties with the recent tariffs imposed by China on Australian wine, which had historically been an important market.
To proactively address the challenges head-on, Bec explored and secured distribution in new markets, including Japan, South Korea and the US, hired a number of skilled team members including a new winemaker and an export manager in South Australia who could represent the brand in key Asian markets.
She also ramped up activity at home, focusing on domestic sales and the visitor experience, including enhancing the Pertaringa cellar door, and opening up her own private home for intimate wine dinners and as part of the Open Gardens scheme.
In addition to day-to-day business, Bec is a Board Member of Nature Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation co-founded by her grandmother, Dr Barbara Hardy AO, which champions sustainable nature conservation.
Bec Hardy comments, “I’m so thrilled to be recognised by this renowned programme. 40 under 40 is such a special initiative, that goes way beyond receiving a gong, and provides really meaningful connections and support to help South Australian business people thrive and continue to grow and advocate for this great state. Winning in 2021 after such a demanding year is even more rewarding, and is testament not just to my hard graft, but the whole Bec Hardy Wines team.”
Member of the judging panel Jim Plouffe commented, “It was hard to narrow this year’s list to just 40, especially with so many South Australian entrepreneurs kicking goals with effective business pivots in 2020, but I am pleased to see that many of them will be even better in the coming years.”
Photo credit: Morgan Sette for Solstice Media