From R – L: Irina Santiago Brown, Briony Hoare & Rose Kentish


The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society together with the Australian Women in Wine Awards (AWIWA) Advisory Board today announce the finalists of the 2017 Australian Women in Wine Awards.

There are eight awards on offer this year, up from six last year and double the number it started with in 2015. And a record number of entries were received in every category.

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,” said Ms. Wright. “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, and founder of The Fabulous Ladies’ Win Society, 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!”

The 2017 Australian Women in Wine Awards finalists in each award category are:

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

  • 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 & 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

Woman of Inspiration Award – sponsored by Irvine Wines

  • This is a judges choice award. No entry was required and it will be announced at the awards ceremony on 26 September.

Also presented at the awards ceremony, will be an additional award 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.

Awards Night – 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.

The awards ceremony will be streamed via a live internet broadcast on Tuesday 26 September at 10am British Summer Time (BST) / 7:00pm AEST. Each wine region and city is being encouraged to host their own gathering to celebrate the announcement, and can register their event online via the awards website here.


The Australian Women in Wine Awards would not be possible without the support of our individual award sponsors (as above) and partners – especially our Gold Partners: Wine Business Magazine, Pernod-Ricard Winemakers, Saint Martin & Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch. 


About the Australian Women in Wine Awards (AWIWA)

The Australian Women in Wine Awards – which are owned and operated by The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society – work 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. The AWIWA, set up in 2015, are the world’s only awards program for women in wine. Previous winners include Prue Henschke (Viticulturist of the Year, 2016), Rose Kentish, Ulithorne (Winemaker of the Year, 2015) and Iain Riggs, Brokenwood (Workplace Champion of Change, 2016).

About the Women in Wine London event

Wine Australia have planned a full day of activity centred around the announcement of the Awards. The event will take place on Tuesday 26 September in the prestigious surroundings of Australia House on the Strand in London. The programme will comprise:

  • 10am – 11am British Summer Time (BST) / 7pm – 8pm AEST: Announcement of the 2017 Australian Women in Wine Award winners
  • 11am – 5pm BST: Trade tasting with 57 female winemakers and winery owners
  • 5pm – 6.30pm BST: Trade seminar focusing on women in the UK wine trade
  • 30pm – 9pm BST: Evening consumer tasting held in partnership with Women in the City, a senior professional women’s networking group in London



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