Research is where it’s at! And the research these women are doing is breaking new ground for wine production both here and around the world.

The Researcher of the Year is open to an individual OR a team who have demonstrated excellence in the field of grape and/or wine research.

This award is proudly sponsored by

Christine Böttcher, CSIRO – Agriculture & Food

Dr. Christine Böttcher received her PhD in plant physiology from the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, in 2008, but discovered her true scientific passion when she was introduced to the fascinating world of grapes and wine as a Postdoctoral Fellow at CSIRO Plant Industry in Adelaide, Australia.

For the last ten years Dr. Böttcher has worked to improve our understanding of the grape berry ripening process leading to the development of plant growth regulator-based methods for ripening manipulation that improve fruit and wine quality and resolve climate change-related harvesting issues.

Dr. Böttcher is currently a Research Scientist at CSIRO Agriculture and Food in Adelaide.

Kerry Wilkinson & Renata Ristic, Adelaide University

Dr Kerry Wilkinson and Dr Renata Ristic are wine science researchers at the University of Adelaide. Together, they have applied their expertise in viticulture, wine chemistry, sensory science and consumer research to projects that aim to address issues of importance to the Australian and international wine industries: from the improved utility of oak for wine maturation, to objective measures of sparkling wine style and quality, to strategies for reducing wine alcohol content.

However, their most significant contribution to date, has been their ongoing research into the impact of bushfire smoke on the composition and sensory properties of grapes and wine. Their research has made significant progress towards understanding the effects of grapevine exposure to smoke, and has provided grape and wine producers from around the world improved methods for detecting and ameliorating smoke taint in grapes and wine.

Patricia Williamson, AWRI

Patricia Osidacz Williamson is a Senior Sensory Scientist at AWRI having extensive expertise in sensory studies involving both trained panels and consumers. Patricia holds a Bachelor degree in Food Engineering from the Campinas State University (Brazil), a Master’s degree in Food Science from the University of Illinois (USA), an Applied Sensory Science and Consumer Testing qualification from UC Davis (USA) and is in the final stage of completing a PhD at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, UniSA. She was part of the Consumer Insights teams at E&J Gallo Wines in California and Unilever Brazil and UK.

Her recent project work includes understanding of wine consumer needs in China and the drivers of preference to obtain information for wineries to produce the right wine for the Chinese market, understanding of the interplay of wine sensory characteristics and extrinsic attributes such as packaging, price and brand to consumers.

“>The winners of the 2017 Australian Women in Wine Awards will be announced at a ceremony in London, in partnership with Wine Australia, on Tuesday 26 September 2017 at 10am BST / 7pm AEST.

The ceremony will be streamed LIVE to events happening all over Australia!  Find out where they’re all happening here.


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