New supplier spotlight
Posted on February 08 2021
Penny Claiborne is the owner and Director of Vinopenny. And she is on a mission to demystify and make wine accessible to business owners, staff, and customers.
Born and bred in New Zealand, Penny has travelled the world, driven by her passion for exceptional wine and food. She been exposed to the world's finest wine regions in Europe, North and South America, and of course, here in Australia and New Zealand.
As a Certified Sommelier, and holder of the Advanced Level 3 of the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET), Penny went from working in a Chicago-based wine shop as the buyer of Australian and New Zealand wine to working with the Sommeliers of some of the most world-renowned restaurants, such as Quay and The Rockpool Group in Sydney and Melbourne.
From Melbourne to the Maldives to the South Coast of NSW, Penny has created wine lists and provided staff education to high-end restaurants and luxury resorts, as well as local neighbourhood restaurants and wine bars. Seeing a gap in the South Coast region to service time-poor small businesses, she founded Vinopenny to deliver a high level of customer care that's backed by in-depth knowledge of wine here in Australia and abroad, as well as a deep understanding of the local market and customer base.
Penny has also co-founded Women in Hospo, a South Coast and Southern Highland community that shines a spotlight on women within the hospitality industry. Plus, opened a wine education business focusing on educating hospitality workers. Because wine is more than a job, it's a way of life. It's about bringing people and community together.