By Emma Luimes
In 1806, Charlotte Badger sailed her way into notoriety, or so it goes.
On board the convict ship Venus, Badger was destined for Van Diemen’s Land, with plans to become a servant.
The Venus cut through Bass Strait and berthed onto the cold shores of Northern Tasmania. The captain of the ship Samuel Chase disembarked at Port Dalrymple.
Badger decided to reroute her fate.
Badger and fellow convict Catherine Hagerty incited a mutiny, encouraging the men on board the Venus to turn the rudder in sight of New Zealand.
Tasmania lost a servant, and Australia gained its first female pirate.
Badger’s audacity inspired Tasmanian winemaker Greer Carland’s new label, Quiet Mutiny.
“She’s a strong-willed individual. And she’s taking her destiny into her own hands,” Carland says.
Carland’s spent 14 years making wine in Tasmania. She grew up pruning vines and driving tractors around her family’s vineyard in Granton. In between her new venture, she still makes wine for her family’s label, Laurel Bank.
Carland spent 12 years as a senior contract winemaker at Winemaking Tasmania, and was the grape alchemist behind some of the state’s most reputable wine labels. She picked up a number of accolades along the way—most notably for her rieslings.
But in 2016, changing internal structures led her to switch paths and gave her an opportunity to pursue a project she’d been thinking about for a long time.
Between making other people’s wines and raising a young son, Carland hoped to start her own wine label.
“It was time to start.” And just like Australia’s fabled pirate, Carland staged her own quiet mutiny.
To some, Carland’s decision to venture out on her own was a mutiny against making sensible decisions.
“Starting your own wine brand is either super brave or darn stupid.”
“There were a lot of people telling me how hard it is to make a dollar with your own wine brand. It’s hard work. The hours are long and the grapes don’t wait for you to start work the next day.”
But Carland, who describes herself as a “mutineer winemaker”, is up for the challenge. And with a strong female inspiration like Badger, she feels like she can endure a tide of people telling her it’s not a good idea to go it alone.
“[To] all the naysayers who say it’s silly to do this, well I’m going to give it a go anyway because it’s what I do. I make wine, and I love it.”