WITH 21 years experience in the wine industry, Mardi Longbottom has been recognised as a role model for young career-minded women.
She was yesterday announced as the the state runner up in the 2013 Rural Industries Research and Development Corporations's Rural Women's Award.
Now living in Adelaide, the Australian Wine Research Institute viticulturist has worked in a variety of different roles at vineyards around the region.
She tries to make it back to Padthaway whenever she can to visit her family and see how the vineyards are going.
In an industry traditionally dominated by males, Dr Longbottom, who is also a part-time viticultural consultant, applied for the award hoping to give women a voice.
"I thought it would be a good opportunity to be a role model for young women who are thinking of a career in primary industries.
"It's sometimes difficult for us to be heard which is one of the challenges."
The top gong was given to winemaker Anna Hooper who is also from the Limestone Coast.
From Robe she now works at Cape Jaffa Wines in Mount Benson.
Ms Hooper will receive a $10,000 bursary to develop a project that will benefit primary industries and rural Australia.
Both Ms Hooper and Ms Longbottom will get the chance to attend the Australian Institute of Company directors course in Canberra.