Janice McDonald grew up in West Wyalong, sheep country in rural New South Wales. A keen interest in science drew her to university studies in Sydney, and it was during this period that her fascination with wine unfurled. Under the influence of her sister & brother-in-law, she began exploring the flourishing independent wine bottle shop scene of the city. What started as an interest soon gave direction to her scientific pursuits, and Ms McDonald began wine studies at the Riverina College in Wagga. Her first vintages cemented this passion and exposed her to the different regions and wine styles of Australia, including Margaret River. After a stint as assistant winemaker at Vasse Felix in 1985, her acquaintance & contemporary Phil Sexton convinced Ms McDonald to take up a brewing position at Matilda Bay Brewing Co. Five intense years later, after the sale of Matilda Bay, Phil Sexton founded Devil’s Lair winery and Ms McDonald jumped at the chance to immerse herself again in wine and make roots back in Margaret River where she was the senior winemaker from 1992–2000. In 2001, with her partner Stuart Pym, Ms McDonald founded Stella Bella with its prestigious Serie Luminosa range. She was named Red Winemaker Of The Year for 2010-2011 by Campbell Mattinson & Gary Walsh in The Big Red Wine Book. In 2011, Ms McDonald joined Howard Park as chief winemaker.