Corrina turns the big 4–0

All grown up

As the the non-family member in the office and having known her the longest, I guess I best qualify to cram Corrina’s journey thus far into a blog in celebration of her 40th Birthday.  Plus, I am only 6 months her junior, so there is only a small window to give you the dirt.



Corrina’s Kindy photo – 3 winemakers in one class!

We only did ever share one McLaren Vale primary school year together ( a combined 6-7 class).  I guess it was quite a pivotal year and we bonded over nerd-dom and the love of reading books.  This Christmas we have re-lived many of those books as we now have daughters with the same age difference – reading these same novels.  Back in the day, I did have a little envy for her fabulous stationery collection and  she was always fascinated in the many different directions my hair could go.  Yes at once!

We continued on as friends into High School (attending different institutions) played netball together and had a ‘shared custody’ collection of marbles.  Corrina often visited my family house on a Saturday morning – because that was my ‘Saturday lollies’ day ( her faves are mint leaves and teeth), plus I had a pool.  Easy street! We didn’t have to wear stack hats back then, so we could high tail it back and forth to the other end of McLaren Vale on our BMX bikes – looking cool.

We had to get serious! Around 15-16 years of age we started working for Don in the vineyards – walkmans in tow – with our meticulously timed Triple J tape deck recordings.  No ads – revolutionary! Besides talking boys and solving what were super serious problems of the world, the only hazard was the great big purple thistles we pricked each others bottoms with –  if we had to go to the toilet in the vineyard. Soz, that’s a little too much information.

Well, we made a little bit of wine, whilst finishing off our first  ill-suited degrees and and diplomas – accounting – what were we thinking? he he.

Then in 1995 we went back-packing (also with 4 Adelaide girls) – we had a common flip around Europe, with embarrassingly matching backpacks, sleeping bags, fleeces etc  We then spent 2 years individually bumping around parts of the world until one of us was brave enough to come home and set up shop.  Corrina beat me home by a small blip – I was still chasing hearts in non-english speaking countries :-/

The next ten years Corrina spent earning her stripes so she could enter the Oliver family realm geared up for business – blonde locks and a cute smile only buy you so much business confidence.  An Oeneology degree – half at Adelaide University and half at UC Davis -USA, several part time jobs – thanks Tatachilla and Granny Mays’,  a million vintages with Southcorp and a few more boys – she was ready to take on the world.

Mr and Mrs Wright

Mr and Mrs Wright

So here she is 40 – one of the Directors/Winemakers of her family owned business Oliver’s Taranga.  More awards, grants and framed bits of important paper than she had Browine badges (and that was a lot!), a partner in crime – her husband Dan Wright, and two incredibly cute children Miah (11 years) and Koen (3 years) and a dog with a squishy face – Saaz.

Corrina, Koen and Miah

Corrina, Koen and Miah

Well, that is some benchmark she has set herself to enter into the next half of her life…….sometimes we have a lay down on the couch for her for all the whizzing around and organising she does.  The energy doesn’t seem to be dying with a determination greater than Black Caviar……… The next chapters will be interesting.

Today, we celebrated a high tea with our office gang for Corrina’s 40th Birthday.  We have given her permission to celebrate her Birthday for more than a month.  (cos December is a shitty month to have a Birthday)

High Tea @ Oliver's Taranga

High tea @ Oliver’s Taranga

We wish her a VERY HAPPY 40TH BIRTHDAY  on December 28th, with many happy years to come!!