The winners of the 2016 Australian Women in Wine Awards (AWIWA) were announced last night, 15th November, via a web broadcast that was streamed to celebration events taking place all over Australia.



Seven award winners were named in six categories:

  • Winemaker of the Year, Sponsored by Wine Ark – Emma Norbiato, Calabria Family Wines, Riverina NSW
  • Viticulturist of the Year, Sponsored by Wine Australia – Prue Henschke, Henschke, Eden Valley SA
  • Owner / Operator of the Year, Sponsored by Halliday – Jenny Semmler, 919 Wines, Riverland SA
  • Researcher of the Year, Sponsored by Lallemand – Roberta De Bei & Cassandra Collins (team)
  • Workplace Champion of Change, Sponsored by Vinomofo – Iain Riggs & Brokenwood Wines, Hunter Valley NSW
  • Cellar Door Person of the Year – Rebecca Barr, Fernfield Wines, Eden Valley SA

“On behalf of the entire Board of the AWIWA I want to extend our sincere congratulations to all the winners,” said AWIWA Chair, Jane Thomson. “It is truly a delight to see the breadth of talent and dedication recognized. We know these awards are having a positive impact on the conversation around gender equality in our wine community, and we know that the winners of the 2016 AWIWA powerfully demonstrate the contribution that women make.”

The judging panel for the awards included all the members of the AWIWA Board – newly appointed winemaker for Irivine Wines Rebekah Richardson; Chair of Wine Australia Brian Walsh; Oliver’s Taranga CEO and winemaker, Corrina Wright; Stargazer Wines owner & winemaker Samantha Connew; eminent wine writer Jeni Port; esteemed wine marketer Toni Carlino; as well as AWIWA Chair, The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society founder and newly awarded Digital Wine Communicator of the Year 2016, Jane Thomson – plus 2015 winners Rebecca Duffy from Holm Oak Vineyards and Irina Santiago-Brown from Inkwell Wines.

“These awards give hope to the future generations of women coming through the wine community that there will be other women who are willing to lift them up and support them,” said board member Rebekah Richardson. “It brings a cohesiveness we have not seen before and a way for our achievements to be highlighted and celebrated in an inclusive and encouraging environment. I would hate to think that the next generations have to struggle with the bias that I have seen through my career.”

Board member Toni Carlino said it has been an honour to be involved in such an inspiring awards program. “The overwhelming number of entries for this year’s awards is a demonstration of the incredibly talented individuals and their teams who provide outstanding service to our industry,’ said Ms. Carlino. “Whilst we know gender equality is still an issue in our industry, and we have a long way to go to true equality, it is heartening to see how so many in our wine community have embraced and supported these awards, initiatives and events over the past year.”

As per last year, winners of this year’s awards were announced via a video broadcast. Events were held all over Australia to watch the broadcast to allow the maximum number of people – both men and women in the wine community – to be included in the announcement and celebrations.

The full broadcast can be viewed 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: Saint Martin, Wine Business Magazine, Pernod-Ricard Winemakers and Kennards Wine Storage.

For further information & to arrange interviews with any of the award winners or AWIWA Board Members please contact:

Jane Thomson (The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society) M: 0413 682 377 E:


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