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Announcing the finalists of the 2018 Australian Women in Wine Awards

Announcement posted by The Fabulous Ladies' Wine Society 16 Oct 2018

The WORLD's only awards platform for women in wine

The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society together with the Australian Women in Wine Awards (AWIWA) Advisory Board today announce the finalists of the 2018 Australian Women in Wine Awards.


There are eight awards on offer this year, and each attracted a strong number of entries from across the regions. Indeed, judges have decided on four finalists in one of the award categories instead of the usual three, reflecting the extremely high calibre of entrants.


Now in its fourth year, the Australian Women in Wine Awards – which were started in 2015 - are the first and (still) the only awards platform for women in wine. Founding member of the AWIWA Advisory Board and award-winning wine journalist, Jeni Port, said that each year the judging process gets harder as more talented women are encouraged to enter and tell the world about the fantastic work they are doing.


“I can’t believe the greater Australian wine industry has been left in the dark for so long about many of their contributions, including in many cases world-class research and best practice,” continued Ms. Port. “We looked at entrants who are global leaders in their fields. That’s exciting and worth shouting about.”


The finalists in each award category 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 / Innovator 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 via the AWIWA website 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. As in previous years, each wine region is being encouraged to host their own watch party to cheer on all the finalists and winners.




Media Contacts

Lara Jago

+61 416 355 070