By Amy Looker

The Wine Communicators of Australia (WCA) announced the winners of its communication awards at the 2012 WCA Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show lunch on Friday (17 Feb).

The WCA named Yalumba winemaker, Jane Ferrari, as its 2012 Wine Communicator of the Year for her long-term efforts in promoting, speaking, educating and tutoring not only on Yalumba’s wine portfolio, but Australian wine in general.

WCA patron and judge, James Halliday, said Ferrari was a worthy recipient of the award.

“I strongly endorse the choice of Jane as Wine Communicator of the Year,” said Halliday.

“I have the clearest memory of her running a session at the marketing conference in Adelaide many years ago, and how impressed I was at that time. I have remained aware of the incredible success she has had since then.”

Adelaide-based winemaker Tom Robinson was named as the recipient of the 2012 Gourmet Traveller WINE/WCA New Wine Writer Award for his essay on Australian Tempranillo, which will go on to be published in the magazine.

Gourmet Traveller WINE editor, Judy Sarris, said that she expects to see more of Robinson’s work in the future.

“Since its beginnings in 1999, the Gourmet Traveller WINE/New Wine Writer Award held in conjunction with WCA has unearthed some outstanding authors, including Angus Hughson, Ben Canaider and sommelier, Patrick White to name a few,” Sarris said when presenting Robinson with his award.

“This year’s winner, Tom Robinson, will be another name to watch as he writes with refreshing wit and humour, underpinned by solid knowledge of wine.”

This year also saw the WCA introduce the Digital Communicator of the Year award, which went to The Qwoff Boys, Andre Eikmeier and Justin Dry, for their blog and online engagement with consumers.

The judging panel for the awards consisted of a mix of industry professionals, including WCA national board members, James Halliday, and guest international judges, Jancis Robinson, MW, and UK wine communicator Jamie Goode.

The WCA has plans to further develop its Wine Communicator Award program with the addition of further award categories covering a broader range of wine communication skills to be rolled out later this year.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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