ARANTZA MILICUA CELADOR
Location: Stanthorpe, Granite Belt Wine Country, Queensland
What made you decide to become a winemaker?
“I come from a coastal town called Hondarribia in the Basque Country, North Spain. I did a Bachelors in Science (Petrochemistry) at the Basque Country University, whilst looking for a laboratory job was stocking shelves at the wine/beer section in one of the local supermarkets. My hometown belongs to DO Getariako Txakolina and Mum’s family comes from a little town belonging to DO Rueda.
Since I was a little girl, I have been surrounded by vineyards and wine. After few months looking for lab jobs nothing came up so decided that will be nice to learn how to make wine, quit my job at the supermarket and moved to Tarragona to study Oenology and Viticulture Bachelor at Rovira I Virgili University.”
What did your introduction to winemaking look like?
“I started as Vintage Assistant Winemaker whilst in my first year of Uni and loved it.”
Did you have a career before?
“I finished my bachelors in Science and was working in a supermarket whilst looking for a job related to my degree.”
What does your day-to-day actually look like?
“It will depend on the day, apart from being the QCWT winemaker I also run the commercial laboratory at QCWT and train school kids for their Certificate II in Wine Industry Operations.”
Do you have a favourite product, or one you are most excited about?
“Tempranillo and Albariño are grapes from home (Spain) so always exciting to work with them.”
Do you have a favourite tool in your trade, that you just couldn’t live/work without?
“A little green remote control for my pump as mainly I work on my own.”
What do you wish everyone knew about your wine?
“Our products are small to very small batches, made as natural as possible with minimal intervention. QCWT is a training facility where everything is hands on and school kids are a big part of the process.”
When you’re not winemaking, what do you like to do out and about on the Granite Belt?
“I love going for a walk along the river, hiking at Girraween or 4WD at Sundown National Park.”
Where you’ll find Arantza…
“I work Monday to Friday, unless it is vintage that will be Monday to Sunday, in the winery, laboratory (I run the commercial laboratory at the Queensland College of Wine Tourism) and training. If there is a tour and I am in the winery I always talk to them and explain a little about what we do.”