Finalists in the 2018 Australian Women in Wine Awards

Judges acclaim high calibre of finalists and global leaders

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Australian Women In Wine Awards

Australian Women In Wine Awards [©The Fabulous Ladies' Wine Society]

Australian Women in Wine Awards 2017 Winners in London


The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society and 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,” continued Ms. Port. “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 Hakov, Pernod Ricard Winemakers
  • Lara Simic, Winestate Publishing
  • Zonte’s Footstep

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 16th 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.

Awards Ceremony – Friday 16 November 2018: 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.

Watch It Live!  The awards ceremony will be streamed LIVE via the Australian Women in Wine Facebook page on Friday 16th November 2018 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 Wine Business Magazine. 


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October 16th, 2018
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