Alex Camatta
14 October 2020 | Alex Camatta

The Interview Series #3

In this Interview Series #3, we speak with Ashlea van Riet, designer of our summer gift box and much loved member of our Tasting Room Team. Tasting Room Manager, Alex Camatta chats to Ashlea about her career in the art and wine industries and the inspiration behind the design of the summer gift box.

Ashlea, how did your career in art begin?

Gosh, I guess I’ve always been a creative person, I think it’s in my blood! I come from a family of creatives who encouraged me to draw and paint so, ever since I can remember, art has been an integral part of my life. However I only started taking it more seriously about 8 years ago.

Can you speak to the inspiration behind the design?

The Shaw + Smith team were already quite familiar with my work, and had one of my previous artworks in mind as a source of inspiration. They liked my use of colour and more importantly texture, both of which appear in the design of this box. Personally, I heard the word “summer” and wanted to create something really fun but still on brand, which I think we have achieved. 

At what point in your life did you develop an interest in wine?

Hmmm, is it bad to say it all started with enjoying a lot of it? Living in the Adelaide Hills means being surrounded by incredible wineries so it's easy to become passionate about great wine. I was married at a local winery, which is what first inspired the idea of working in wine. Then two years ago, I was lucky enough to join the Shaw + Smith Tasting Room team. I now balance my week between the art studio and the tasting room, talking about amazing wine!

It’s not often that these two worlds collide for you come together so well. How did your familiarity with the brand influence the finished product?

I definitely find myself in a unique position, and feel incredibly honoured that I was asked to design this summer gift box! I’ve been working for Shaw + Smith for two years, so I do feel as though I have a strong understanding of the brand and ethos. Working at Shaw + Smith while collaborating with the team helped to maintain constant communication throughout the design process. We worked closely together to create the final artwork. 

Which wine would you be most excited to find in this gift box?

I’m a Chardonnay girl through and through and believe that Shaw + Smith make some of the best in the Hills. I’d be pretty chuffed with either a 2019 M3 Chardonnay or the 2018 Lenswood Vineyard Chardonnay. Yum!


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