Finalists named in Australian Women in Wine Awards

16 August, 2019 by Andy Young

The finalists have been announced for the 2019 Australian Women in Wine Awards (AWIWA), the world’s only awards program for women in wine.

Each of the award categories has three finalists named, except for the Champion of Diversity and Equality Award, which the judges felt required for finalists.

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The awards organisers said: “A heartfelt thank you to all the incredibly talented women – and champions of diversity – who entered this year. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to throw your hat in the ring.

“And while not everyone can be a finalist, please know that the process of just entering these awards is a powerful thing. It provides a rare time to reflect on your achievements and demonstrate to yourself, as well as to others, what you have accomplished.

The winners will be named at a ceremony in New York on the evening of 17 September (US time) or the morning of 18 September in Australia, as part of Wine Australia’s Far From Ordinary campaign in the US. The awards will drive excitement and appreciation for our home-grown talent appearing in one of the world’s leading wine cities.

Andreas Clark, CEO of Wine Australia, told TheShout: “Wine Australia is thrilled to have the Australian Women in Wine Awards as part of the Far From Ordinary activities in New York next month.

“This platform is a great opportunity to celebrate female wine professionals in many different capacities and continue to shine a spotlight on the diversity and innovation within the Australian wine sector.”

The finalists in each award category are (in alphabetical order by surname):

Winemaker of the Year – sponsored by Tonnellerie Saint Martin

  • Nat Cleghorn, Yalumba
  • Vanya Cullen, Cullen Wines
  • Jo Marsh, Billy Button Wines

Researcher / Innovator of the Year – sponsored by Angove Family Winemakers

  • Joanna Gambetta, Charles Sturt University
  • Inca Lee, Vinehealth Australia
  • Mango Parker, The Australian Wine Research Institute

Champion of Diversity & Equality – sponsored by Australian Grape and Wine

  • Trish Barry, Mastermind Consulting
  • Carolyn Coon & Kristy Keyte, Treasury Wine Estates
  • John Davis, Pepper Tree Wines
  • Pernod Ricard Winemakers – Better Balance Ambassadors

Marketer of the Year – sponsored by denomination

  • Elizabeth Calabria-Staltare, Calabria Family Wines
  • Imogen Hayes, Handpicked Wines
  • Rebecca Love, Howard Park Wines

Cellar Door Person of the Year – sponsored by Purple Giraffe

  • Lauren Hutton, Bethany Wines
  • Ulrika Larsson, Clairault Streicker
  • Jodhi Thoms, Elderton Wines 

Viticulturist of the Year – sponsored by Wine Australia

  • Sheridan Alm, Starrs Reach Vineyard
  • Brooke Howell, Yalumba Family Winemakers
  • Amanda Mader, Vine Scout

Owner / Operator of the Year – sponsored by WineWorks Australia

  • Laura Carter, Unico Zelo
  • Belinda Chambers, Lake Moodemere Estate
  • Sarah McDougall, Lake George Winery

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 is required, and the winner will be announced at the awards ceremony.

The 2019 awards were judged by panels made up of AWIWA Advisory board members as well as previous winners.

In addition to this year’s eight award categories, Wine Australia will be sponsoring the Honorary Australian Woman in Wine Award – USA, with a bursary prize to explore Victorian wine regions proudly supported by the Victorian Government. This accolade will be awarded to a woman who lives and works in the USA and has made a positive impact in the US wine industry promoting Australian Wine.

The live stream will take place via the Australian Women in Wine Facebook page. As in previous years, each wine region and wine business is being encouraged to host their own watch party to cheer on all the finalists and winners.