Homepage Palate PR newsroom


Announcement posted by Palate PR 31 May 2016

Italian heritage Australia Style

This year sees the launch of the inaugural Australian Italian Wine Awards as part of the Riverina Wine Show, to promote and inform consumers about the quality of wines produced from Italian grape varieties grown in Australia.


·     To create a competition that celebrates and calibrates the quality and ongoing refinement of Italian varietal wines in the Australian domestic market

·         To underscore the burgeoning growth and interest in Italian varietal wines in Australia

·         To promote the category as essential food wines, with unique aroma, flavour, texture and structure

·         To provide a forum in which to raise the profile of Italian cultivars amongst consumers


The Australian food scene continues to grow to new heights, with the diversity of dishes and willingness of diners to experiment with new cuisines creating an equalled desire to learn more about Italian grape varieties – some of the world’s best food wines.

Italian migrants and successive generations have been growing and making wine in the Riverina since its earliest farming days, from backyard vines and market gardens to successful family operations on the world stage, spearheaded by the likes of the De Bortoli, Casella and Calabria families.

This year, 2016, marks 100 years of settlement in Griffith, during which time the Italian population has had a major influence on the region’s cultural and agricultural development. Indeed, some 60% of Griffith’s population today boast some Italian heritage.

It is in acknowledgement and celebration of this connection that the Riverina Winemakers Association is launching the Australian Italian Wine Awards; to be judged for the first time on 6th September, as part of the Riverina Wine Show in Griffith.


Chair of Judges - Sophie Otton     Wine Commentator, Sommelier, Adviser

“This is an exciting development in Australia’s wine industry awards calendar, a niche component to the broader Riverina show which both anticipates our future and acknowledges our past.”

Specialist Judge - Mark Protheroe      Group Head Sommelier, Grossi Restaurant Group

Senior Judges -    Sue Hodder     Senior Winemaker, Wynn’s Coonawarra

   Lucy Clements     Head of Sourcing, Coles Liquor Group


Entries Open                      20 June 2016

Entries Close                      22 July 2016

Judging                                 6 - 7 September 2016

Results Announced         30 September 2016