The prestigious Maurice O’Shea Award will return in 2022 under the new Australian Wine Industry Awards event, in partnership with McWilliam’s Wines and Mount Pleasant Wines.
The Maurice O’Shea award recognises an individual, group, or organisation for their service or contribution to the industry through winemaking, cultivation, innovation and technology.
Last year’s sale of McWilliam’s Wines saw the Medich Family Office take over Mount Pleasant and McWilliam’s Wines join the Calabria Family Wine Group, and both new owners wanted to honour the legacy of the Maurice O’Shea Award.
“Maurice O’Shea was a man who devoted his efforts to the craft of making great Australian wine. The Maurice O’Shea Award is to honour and recognise a group or individual that has made a significant contribution to the industry by forging new pathways in their efforts to strive for excellence and greaten the industry as a whole,” Chief Winemaker for Mount Pleasant Wines, Adrian Sparks said.
“Mount Pleasant is proud to honour Maurice O’Shea and his enduring legacy to the Australian wine industry by presenting this award in collaboration with the Calabria family.”
In addition to the Maurice O’Shea Award, the new McWilliam’s Award for Excellence in Action will also be presented on the night to an individual, group or organisation that has made a significant impact in the face of the numerous challenges currently facing the Australian wine industry.
“While the iconic Maurice O’Shea Award celebrates the significant contribution of a group or individual to the industry, we’ve created the McWilliam’s Award for Excellence in Action to focus on the many challenges facing the wine industry – challenges like climate change, diversity and equality, and international market access – and the important people or industry bodies that have tackled these obstacles head-on for the betterment of our industry,” third-generation Sales & Marketing Director for Calabria Family Wine Group Andrew Calabria said.
“McWilliam’s Wines has had its fair share of challenges in its 143-year history, but the family’s perseverance and commitment to the industry are what, to me, stand out over those many years and we felt this new distinction was an important way to honour that.”
Under the new partnership, Mount Pleasant and McWilliam’s have called upon leaders across the Australian wine industry to join an exclusive judging committee to confer and nominate potential winners of both awards. The selected judges include industry body leaders, journalists, winemakers and representatives from Mount Pleasant, McWilliam’s Wines and Calabria Family Wines.
The inaugural judges are:
- Phil Ryan, past Chief Winemaker and Ambassador, Mount Pleasant Wines
- Campbell Mattinson, independent wine journalist
- Louisa Rose, Head of Winemaking, Yalumba and Hills Smith Family Vineyards
- Bill Calabria AM, Director and Winemaker, Calabria Family Wine Group
- Mark Krstic, Managing Director, Australian Wine Research Institute
- Tony Battaglene, Chief Executive, Australian Grape & Wine
- Jane Faulkner, wine writer
- Doug McWilliam, past chairman, McWilliam’s Wines and 5th generation industry family member.
The new awards event will take place in Adelaide on Sunday 26 June, ahead of the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference.