Results from the Australian Women in Wine Awards
Posted a little later than planned . . .
The winners of the inaugural Australian Women in Wine Awards were announced on 17th November 2015 via a web broadcast that was streamed to live events taking place all over Australia.
Four award winners were named, which AWIWA chair Jane Thomson said are now the first of what is expected to become an annual awards program.
The awards and their winners:
- Winemaker of the Year, Sponsored by Wine Ark – Rose Kentish, Ulithorne Wines (McLaren Vale)
- Viticulturist of the Year, Sponsored by Wine Australia – Irina Santiago-Brown, Inkwell Wines (McLaren Vale)
- Owner / Operator of the Year, Sponsored by Cellarhand – Rebecca Duffy, Holm Oak Vineyards (Tasmania)
- Workplace Champion of Change, Sponsored by Vinomofo – Dianne Laurance, Laurance Wines (Margaret River)
“On behalf of the entire Board of the AWIWA we extend our congratulations to all the winners. The field was very tight, as we had an exceptionally high calibre and number of entries – something that exceeded even our own expectations for this, our first year,” said Ms Thomson.
The judging panel for the awards included all the members of the AWIWA Board – Oliver’s Taranga CEO and winemaker Corrina Wright, Stargazer Wines owner & winemaker Samantha Connew, eminent wine writer Jeni Port, esteemed wine marketer Toni Carlino, Maygar’s Hill owner & viticulturist Jenny Houghton, as well as AWIWA Chair and The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society founder Jane Thomson.
Samantha Connew, long time advocate of women in the wine industry and the first female Chair of the Royal Sydney Wine Show said it had been a privilege to be involved the awards process and that she “couldn’t be more excited about the evolution of these awards.”
For Corrina Wright, it is the prospect of now having a framework with which to offer women in the industry support that has made her involvement in the AWIWA so fulfilling. “I want other women in the industry to know that there is a network out there to lean on when they encounter issues (of a gender nature). There are people to reach out to. You are not alone.”
In what’s believed to be an industry, and possibly Australian, first the winners of this year’s awards were announced via a video broadcast. Events were held all over Australia to watch the broadcast and to allow the maximum number of women in wine to be included in the announcement and celebrations.
Melbourne celebrated in style at Papa Goose on the night of the 17th November 2015, with around 60 attendees enjoying the opportunity to meet, network and share some great wine. A raffle on the night coupled with a very generous donation from the Dean Lappen Foundation will provide funds to two women looking to undertake the WSET Level 2 and 3 in 2016.
Educators Sarah Andrew and Jenny Polack reviewed scholarship applications to select the two recipients. The winners were:
Caitlin Millen from The Cosmopolitan Hotel received $900 towards WSET Level 3 in 2016
Thelma Rutsate from Sofitel and a Scarf graduate received $450 towards WSET Level 2 in 2016
Additionally another prize was offered, to Jill Swiney as she embarks on WSET Level 3 in 2016, in the form of a Mentor Program delivered by Sarah Andrew and Jenny Pollack.