Lou Chalmer

About Me 

I grew up on a cattle farm near the remote and beautiful town of Esperance, Western Australia.

Growing up, I was very lucky. I was always outdoors, either at the beach or on our farm, and learnt at a very early age that it’s possible to farm and manage natural resources sustainably through mimicking and enhancing natural ecological systems.

As I got older, I developed an interest in food, wine and coffee, and worked in hospitality for more than fifteen years in various roles. At the same time, I completed an Environmental Science degree at Monash University, specialising in agroecology. However, when I finished my degree, I felt that there was a huge disconnect between agricultural producers and consumers. I decided to remain in hospitality but bring the knowledge that I had gained from my degree to contribute to a more fluid relationship between the two.

In 2014, I co-founded Clever Polly’s, one of Melbourne’s first natural wine bars. Our aim was to create a space that would act as the interface between producers and consumers, showcasing some of the food and wine industry’s unsung heroes whilst educating our guests. We wanted to give them the tools to make decisions about what they ate and drank that would lead to improved health, economic, environmental and social outcomes. Five years on and there have been some big changes in the industry, which we’re very grateful to have contributed to.

Currently based in Western Australia, I’m still firmly entrenched in the wine industry and have been making wine under my own label for the last few years, plus I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting projects that will further contribute to a more sustainable future.