Applications have opened for a scholarship that is building up women leaders in the organic wine industry.

The Australian Organic Wine Awards Associate Scholarship opened applications for its 2023 intake on Friday. The scholarship aims to promote female talent in the organic wine industry. It is supported by the peak industry body Australian Organic Limited (AOL), which aims to raise the profile of organic and biodynamic wine.

The year-long scholarship will provide the recipient with development and learning opportunities, mentoring, and a role as an associate judge on the tasting panel for the organic industry’s Wine Awards.

“We’ve created a progressive, equity based and industry-leading scholarship, which is in high demand, attracting the best emerging female talent in wine,” said AOL Chief executive Nikki Ford. “It helps build capability through blended learning, focusing on exposure, experience and education. “Through the mentoring experience, we hope to provide the encouragement, skills and confidence to propel the winner’s leadership journey.”

The scholarship has a holistic approach, allowing recipient to build skills in a wide variety of industry areas, including wine judging, oenology, viticulture, marketing, and wine writing.

The inaugural scholarship was awarded to Olivia Evans in 2021. Evans is a sommelier and wine writer and was an associate judge at the 2021 Australia Organic Industry Wine Awards.

“The scholarship reinforced my appreciation and dedication to organic philosophies in the wine industry,” said Evans.

“It brings women into the judging space, where there are certainly more males, and provides a space to gain a better understanding of the importance of organic agriculture,” Evans continued, “Only good things come out of initiatives like this scholarship. If anyone wants to gain an understanding of the governing body for organics in Australia, meet some fantastic people and learn to judge wine professionally, this is the time.”

Scholarship applications close on Friday 14 April.

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