The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society together with the Australian Women in Wine Awards (AWIWA) Advisory Board have announced the finalists of the 2018 Australian Women in Wine Awards.
There are eight awards on offer this year, and each attracted a strong number of entries from across the regions. Indeed, judges have decided on four finalists in one of the award categories instead of the usual three, reflecting the extremely high calibre of entrants.
Now in its fourth year, the Australian Women in Wine Awards – which were started in 2015 – are the first and (still) the only awards platform for women in wine. Founding member of the AWIWA Advisory Board and award-winning wine journalist, Jeni Port, said that each year the judging process gets harder as more talented women are encouraged to enter and tell the world about the fantastic work they are doing.
“I can’t believe the greater Australian wine industry has been left in the dark for so long about many of their contributions, including in many cases world-class research and best practice,” Jeni said.
“We looked at entrants who are global leaders in their fields. That’s exciting and worth shouting about.”
The finalists in each award category are (in alphabetical order by surname):
Winemaker of the Year – sponsored by Tonnellerie Saint Martin
Kate Goodman, Goodman Wines/Penley Estate
Gill Gordon-Smith, Fall From Grace
Cath Oates, Oates Ends
Emma Wood, Penfolds Wines (Treasury Wine Estates)
Viticulturist of the Year – sponsored by Wine Australia
Brooke Howell, Yalumba & Hill-Smith Family Vineyards
Amanda Mader, Vine Scout
Nicole Pitman, Kingston Estate Vineyards
Owner/Operator of the Year – sponsored by WineWorks Australia
Kirsty Balnaves, Balnaves of Coonawarra
Callie Jemmeson, Wine Unplugged
Sarah Marquis, Mollydooker Wines
Workplace Champion of Change – sponsored by Winemakers’ Federation of Australia
Darryn Hakof, Pernod Ricard Winemakers
Lara Simic, Winestate Publishing
Cellar Door Person of the Year – sponsored by Platinum Bags
Janine Carter, Voyager Estate
Jessie Jiang, Sandalford Wines
Michelle Stehbens, Katnook Coonawarra
Researcher/Innovator of the Year – sponsored by Angove Family Winemakers
Dr Jacqui McRae, Australian Wine Research Institute
Assoc. Prof. Sandra Savocchia & Dr Regina Billones-Baaijens, Charles Sturt University, National Wine and Grape Industry Centre
Assoc. Prof. Kerry Wilkinson, The University of Adelaide
Marketer of the Year – sponsored by Denomination
Belinda Austin, Austins Wines
Shirley Fraser, Byrne Vineyards
Lynda Schenk, Purple Giraffe
The eighth award category, Woman of Inspiration Award – sponsored by Irvine Wines – is a judges’ choice award determined by the AWIWA Advisory Board. No entry was required, and the winner will be announced at the awards ceremony on Friday 16 November in Sydney.
The 2018 awards were judged by panels made up of AWIWA Advisory board members as well as previous winners and category sponsors.
This year the awards will be announced as part of the first ever Australian Women in Wine Symposium & Awards Day at Quay Restaurant in Sydney. Registrations for this history making event – which is open to both men and women to attend – are available via the AWIWA website here.
The awards ceremony will be streamed live via the Australian Women in Wine Facebook page on Friday 16 November at 2pm AEDST. As in previous years, each wine region is being encouraged to host their own watch party to cheer on all the finalists and winners.
The AWIWA are entirely funded by sponsorship. This year’s Gold Partners include CRU, Vintrace, Pernod-Ricard Winemakers and WBM – Australia’s Wine Business Magazine.