Winners of the inaugural Australian Women in Wine Awards announced

Source: Daily Wine News

Back in 2012, former psychologist and public relations professional Jane Thomson founded the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society, dedicated to supporting and promoting the role of women in the Australian wine industry. A highlight among the society’s initiatives — which have included wine tours and tastings for women, and even an evening of matching wines and designer shoes — will be the inaugural Australian Women in Wine Awards Tuesday 17 November 2015.

Portavin is proud to be a sponsor of the Western Australian division of this event and looks forward to supporting the event well into the future!


The four winners of the inaugural Australian Women in Wine Awards were announced last night via a web broadcast that was streamed to live events taking place all over Australia.

Rose Kentish from Ulithorne Wines in McLaren Vale took out the winemaker of the year award at the event while Irina Santiago-Brown from McLaren Vale’s Inkwell Wines was named as viticulturist of the year.

Rebecca Duffy from Holm Oak Vineyard in Tasmania was awarded with owner/ operator of the year and Dianne Laurance from WA’s Laurance Wines was honoured with the workplace champion of change award.

Jane Thomson, AWIWA chair, said she expects the event will become an annual celebration.

“On behalf of the entire Board of the AWIWA we extend our congratulations to all the winners. The field was very tight, as we had an exceptionally high calibre and number of entries – something that exceeded even our own expectations for this, our first year,” she said.

The judging panel for the awards included all the members of the AWIWA Board – Oliver’s Taranga CEO and winemaker Corrina Wright, Stargazer Wines owner & winemaker Samantha Connew, eminent wine writer Jeni Port, esteemed wine marketer Toni Carlino, Maygar’s Hill owner & viticulturist Jenny Houghton, as well as AWIWA Chair and The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society founder Jane Thomson.

Samantha Connew, long time advocate of women in the wine industry and the first female Chair of the Royal Sydney Wine Show, said it had been a privilege to be involved the awards process and that she “couldn’t be more excited about the evolution of these awards.”

Corrina Wright said the prospect of having a framework with which to offer support to women in the industry has made her involvement in the AWIWA fulfilling.

“I want other women in the industry to know that there is a network out there to lean on when they encounter issues (of a gender nature). There are people to reach out to. You are not alone,” she said.

In what’s believed to be a first in the industry, and possibly Australia, the winners of this year’s awards were announced via a video broadcast.

Events were held all over Australia to watch the broadcast and to allow the maximum number of women in wine to be included in the announcement and celebrations.


Dianne Lawrance – Champion of Change Award

Image Gallery from the 2015 Awards Night

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