McLaren Vale vigneron Bec Hardy has been announced as one of South Australia's best young business people at the 2021 '40 under 40' awards.
The annual 40 under 40 programme, now in its fourth year, recognises the determination and drive of young business leaders, as well as philanthropic pursuits that balance their professional achievements.
Ms Hardy, 39, is the co-managing director of Bec Hardy Wines, a family-owned wine company based in McLaren Vale.
She was selected for an award as one of 40 individuals chosen from 640 referrals and 230 applications this year.
A sixth-generation member of one of Australia's oldest wine families, Ms Hardy brings decades of tradition to the company, balanced with her own unique approaches to brand and business growth.
"I'm so thrilled to be recognised by this renowned programme," Ms Hardy said.
"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."
Ms Hardy said she had faced significant challenges over the past year as a result of COVID-19 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.
To address these challenges, Ms Hardy has explored and secured distribution in new markets, including Japan, South Korea and the U.S. and hired a number of skilled team members including a new winemaker and an export manager in South Australia.
40 under 40 judging panel member Jim Plouffe said 2021 had been a tough year to narrow a list of finalists.
"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," Mr Plouffe said.
Ms Hardy's ventures continue to grow, having acquired acquired the Pertaringa brand from her father Geoff last year.
She is also putting an increased focus on domestic operations and is a proud 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.