The finalists in the 2018 Australian Women in Wine Awards have been named by the Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society along with the Australian Women in Wine Awards (AWIWA) Advisory Board.

This year sees eight awards on offer and due to the extremely high calibre of entrants the judges decided on four finalists in the Winemaker of the Year category, instead of the usual three.

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,” Port 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
  • 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 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.

The winners will be announced at the Australian Women in Wine Symposium and Awards Day, which is taking place at Quay Restaurant in Sydney on Friday, 16 November.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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