With Saturday's deadline for our summer quiz to win a pair of tickets to the major celebratory Australian wine tasting in London on 26 September fast approaching, the finalists of the 2017 Australian Women in Wine Awards have just been announced.
- Winemaker of the Year – sponsored by WineArk
- Jo Marsh and Alex Phillips, Billy Button Wines
- Shavaughn Wells, Saltram Wines
- Virginia Willcock, Vasse Felix
- Viticulturist of the Year – sponsored by Wine Australia
- Brooke Howell, Yalumba
- Jennifer Doyle, Jansz
- Melissa Brown, Gemtree Wines
- Owner / Operator of the Year – sponsored by JancisRobinson.com
- Cassandra MacDonald, eBev
- Emma Raidis, Raidis Estate
- Sarah Collingwood, Four Winds Vineyard
- Workplace Champion of Change – sponsored by Winemakers Federation of Australia
- Carissa Major, Claymore Wines
- Professor Eileen Scott, Adelaide University
- Kendall Clements-Virag, Pernod-Ricard
- Cellar Door Person of the Year – sponsored by Platinum Bags
- Janine Carter, Voyager Estate
- Jasmine Morgan, Caudo Vineyards
- Sharyn Stagg, Josef Chromy Wines
- Researcher of the Year – sponsored by Inkwell Wines
- Christine Böttcher, CSIRO – Agriculture & Food
- Dr Kerry Wilkinson and Dr Renata Ristic, Adelaide University
- Patricia Williamson, AWRI
- Marketer of the Year – sponsored by Brown Brothers
- Ebony Tinkler, Usher Tinkler Wines
- Imogen Hayes, Handpicked Wines
- Trish Barry, Mastermind Consulting
The eighth award category, Woman of Inspiration Award – sponsored by Irvine Wines – is a judges choice award. No entry was required and it will be announced at the awards ceremony on 26 September.
There will also be an additional award presented for an Honorary Australian Woman in Wine for a woman working in the UK wine trade. This award is determined by Wine Australia in conjunction with the AWIWA advisory board and will also be presented on 26 September.
The 2017 awards were judged by panels made up of AWIWA Advisory board members as well as previous winners.
Corrina Wright, AWIWA Advisory board member and CEO and winemaker of Oliver’s Taranga, said she was proud that these awards are able to shine the light on such a stellar group of women. 'Judging was incredibly difficult', she said. 'There is just so much talent across the width and breadth of Australia’s wine regions, so many women really pushing the boundaries and achieving world class results.'
Awards founder and chair Jane Thomson said that she was thrilled to see that the awards were attracting entrants in ever greater numbers. 'One of the great challenges with these awards is that so often women are reticent to talk themselves up. Too often we hear "but I’m just doing my job" when in fact what they’re doing is extraordinary! This year, the number and quality of entries was incredible and all our judges were really stretched. And we absolutely loved every minute of it!'
Awards announcement – Tuesday 26 September 2017
This year, thanks to a partnership with Wine Australia, the awards will be announced at a ceremony at Australia House in London. The ceremony will form part of a huge Women in Wine tasting event for trade and consumers for which just under 60 Australian women in wine are flying over to participate. Five winners of our summer quiz will win a pair of tickets to the evening session of this tasting event.
The awards ceremony will be streamed via a live internet broadcast on Tuesday 26 September at 10 am GMT / 7 pm AEST.