Announcing the finalists of the 2018 Australian Women in Wine Awards

Unless you’ve been hiding under a heavy magnum of Cabernet somewhere, it will be no surprise to learn that here at The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society, we’re passionate about promoting women in wine. So much so, that in 2015 we started – with the help of some very fabulous wine industry advisors – the Australian Women in Wine Awards (AWIWA).

Now in it’s fourth year, the AWIWA are still the only awards program for women in wine in the WORLD. And they’re something we’re pretty proud of. Last year, as part of a partnership with Wine Australia, we even got to take more than 60 Aussie wine chicks to London to show off what they can do to the UK wine trade. (See that pic above? That’s all the incredibly talented women who attended gathered together on the steps of the iconic Royal Albert Hall. What a moment that was!)

This year, the passion for rewarding, showcasing and uncovering the immense talent of Australian women working in the wine industry continues, and today we’re thrilled to announce the finalists in the 2018 Australian Women in Wine Awards.

They 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.

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 here.

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. So you can watch it all unfold as it happens! Why not mark it in your diary right now and get ready to cheer on this year’s 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.  

 About the Australian Women in Wine Awards (AWIWA)

The Australian Women in Wine Awards are owned and operated by The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society and conducted with the assistance of an advisory board of industry leaders. The AWIWA works to celebrate and reward the work of women in the Australian wine community, and community leaders who champion equality and fairness for all sexes in the workplace. Previous winners include Prue Henschke (Viticulturist of the Year, 2016), Sue Hodder (Woman of Inspiration, 2017), Iain Riggs (Workplace Champion of Change, 2016) and Virginia Willcock (Winemaker of the Year, 2017).