Leadership in Wine #14 - Jing Song

  • Alexis Robin

Jing Song is a wine entrepreneur and founder of Crown Range Cellar in New Zealand, where she is now the Managing Director. In 2015, she became the youngest wine entrepreneur and the first New Zealand Chinese and first female winner of the Pinot Noir Trophy at the IWSC.

Jing was born in China but grew up in Canterbury and Central Otago. She has a double degree in accountancy and performing arts and was a scholarship recipient of KPMG where she trained as a chartered accountant in the early years of her career. This has given her a good understanding of operating a business.

Jing has a passion for art, literature and wine, and has felt able to express these passions through the work of making wine. She co-founded Crown Range Cellar with her family friend Grant Taylor, a legendary pinot noir winemaker from New Zealand who owns and operates Valli Wine.


How do you define leadership?

Leadership is not just taking responsibility and obligations but the best care for your team players as possible. A leader must step up for the problems and challenges when times are not so good. And step back from the pride when there is a success. Leadership is also an art of direction and its implementation. Leaders offer courage for the team when things go through difficult times.


What are the main challenges of being a leader in the wine industry today?

1- On going knowledge of the market.
2- Very traditional industry perception. 
3- Many young and start up businesses often gets ignored; lack real and continuous support.
4- On going challenges in financial and human resources. 
5- Potential identity, race and gender issues. 


What are your major breakthroughs in your career to become the leader you are now?

I got to make the best Pinot Noir from New Zealand wining trophy at IWSC in 2015. I was the youngest female and NZ/Chinese wine producer in this competition.


If you were starting your career in 2019 in the wine industry, what advice would you give to yourself to become successful and content?

Follow your dreams.

You don’t need to own a vineyard or have huge family wealth and heritage to start your wine business. But do plan carefully... have the courage to fight until the end! Be inspired new ways of doing things and keep up with the fast evolving world! 

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