The finalists in the 2016 Australian Women in Wine Awards have been announced.
Winemaker of the Year (sponsored by Wine Ark): Jo Marsh, Emma Norbiato, Anna Pooley, Alexia Roberts
Viticulturist of the Year (sponsored by Wine Australia): Jennifer Doyle, Prue Henschke, Kate Strachan
Owner/Operator of the Year (sponsored by Halliday): Eliza Brown, Sarah Collingwood, Jenny Semmler, Kim Tyrer
Workplace Champion of Change (sponsored by Vinomofo: Irene Hatzigeorgiou, Lyndey Milan, Iain Riggs
Researcher of the Year (sponsored by Lallemand): Dimitra Capone, Roberta De Bei and Cassandra Collins (team), Kerry Wilkinson
Cellar Door Person of the Year: Rebecca Barr, Renee Brown, Kara Hood, Peta Serafin
The finalists for the awards, organised by The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society, are decided by the AWIWA Advisory Board.
There were six awards on offer this year, up from four in 2015, and the number and strength of the entries received exceeded all expectation.
AWIWA Advisory Board member, wine writer, and long-time advocate for women in wine, Jeni Port said she found it heartening to see such an outstanding response from across Australia in this the second year of the awards.
“The number of entrants has increased considerably from last year,” she said.
“We have had entries from those working in big wine companies and small, in isolated regions and wine areas that roll a little easier off the tongue.
“Then there have been those contributing to truly world-class research and science that places Australia at the forefront of international wine knowledge and, importantly those women – and men – actively striving for gender equality and fairness in the workplace.
“Our finalists announced today represent the cream of what is truly a magnificent bunch of Australians in wine.”
Brian Walsh, chair of Wine Australia who joined the AWIWA Board this year, said the judging process was both onerous and inspiring.
“There was an amazing depth of talent across the entries and everyone had a different story to share – from seasoned contributors to those who who are rapidly making their mark,” he said.
“Many have only reluctantly entered at the urging of their peers and loved-ones, modestly believing that they are just normal women in wine. I think super-normal is more appropriate.”
The breadth of the wine community was well represented within entries – from wine tourism to distribution, and from PR to winemaking – demonstrating that although still in their infancy, these awards are reaching and recognising women right across the value chain.
The Australian Women in Wine Awards has again shunned the ‘grand gala night’. Instead, to maximise the reach and inclusiveness of these awards, the winners will be announced via a live stream broadcast on Tuesday 15 November at 7.30pm AEDT.
Each wine region and city is being encouraged to host their own gathering to celebrate the announcement, and can register their event online via womeninwineawards.com.au.
The AWIWA would not be possible without the support of the award sponsors (as above) and partners – especially the Gold Partners: WBM – Australia’s Wine Business Magazine, Pernod-Ricard Winemakers, Saint Martin and Kennards Wine Storage.