Lisa Margan was born in Sydney but made her ‘green change’ to the Hunter Valley when she married winemaker Andrew Margan. Her background includes teaching (Bachelor Education/ Applied Science) before re-training as a chef under respected chef, Robert Molines (Bistro Molines, One Hat).
In 1990, Lisa and Andrew set up home in Bordeaux, France: he, to make wine and she, to cook. It was here she developed an appreciation for quality produce, technique and the unique appeal of dining in a premium wine region.
Returning to the Hunter, Lisa continued to follow her passion for cooking as well as completed a Master’s Degree in Science and Nutrition, focusing on organic food production. This resulted in working within the public health sector (nutrition) until going on maternity leave with the third Margan child.
In 1997 Andrew and Lisa launched their small wine brand, MARGAN. Lisa always planned to return to ‘her career’ but found she had in fact started another one. Wine & Food.
Today, Lisa and Andrew Margan are at the helm of a flourishing 30,000 case premium wine brand as well as an award-winning wine tourism operation with restaurant and cellar door. They are based in the beautiful Broke Fordwich Wine Region, in the birthplace of the Australian wine industry, the Hunter Valley. Margan Restaurant is acclaimed for its ‘agri dining’ focus and offers a seasonally inspired menu based around whatever is being harvested from the estate on the day. Additional to 100 hectares of pristine vineyards, the Margan ‘estate grown- estate made’ focus extends to fruit and vegetables from the pioneering Margan Kitchen Garden and Orchard as well as free range eggs, honey, olives and lambs from the Margan flock of sheep.
In recent years Lisa has introduced a range of wine and food experiences to the Margan Cellar Door and Restaurant to better connect wine and food lovers to the source of their wine and food. She has almost completed her WSET Diploma in Wine and uses this to develop the Margan Team and in turn, the experience for wine lovers to the venue.
Lisa’s background in organic food production and the ethos of the business ensure that Margan ‘treads lightly’ and its carbon footprint is minimal. Margan is now fully accredited with the Sustainable Winegrowing Australia (benchmarked to International Standards ISO 14001 for ‘best practice’) and among the most certified wine and food tourism businesses nationally.
On a personal note, Lisa and Andrew have three children, now all at university studying winemaking, marketing and business respectively.
Lisa is a strong advocate for the promotion of food, wine and the hospitality industry. She is Vice Chair of the Hunter Culinary Association and a founding board member of the Sydney based Women of Hospitality Organisation WOHO. She has Chaired the Hunter Valley Wine Show Awards Lunch for the past eight years as well as a previous Vice Chair of the Broke Fordwich Wine Tourism Association. She is a proud supporter of countless charities. She was awarded the 2018 Leadership in Foodservice Award for Women in recognition of her contribution to the industry.
Lisa lives nowhere near the snow but loves skiing. She is an avid traveller, wine geek, loves cooking, gardening and meditation. She likes to take the path less travelled and rides a pretty cool sports motorbike to get there.