These are not your average awards. The influence of women on the Australian wine industry is ever-growing and resulting in some incredible vintages, brands and an evolution in the way we approach wine-making. It’s all positive and long may it prosper. But these awards are not actually about awarding women succeeding in the wine industry…
No, they are in fact about Women from within the industry picking their winners – a select collective of judges including the ever wonderful Corrina Wright of Oliver’s Taranga, Jane Thomson of the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society and Brian Walsh, Chair of Wine Australia (the only gent allowed on the panel, probably because he’s a lovely guy) narrowed down the field of 21 finalists, announcing the winners across the 6 categories of the Australian Women In Wine Awards. And the winners were:
Researchers Of The Year – Roberta De Bei & Cassandra Collins (University Of Adelaide)
Cellar Door Person Of The Year – Rebecca Barr (Fernfield Wines, Eden Valley)
Winemaker Of The Year – Emma Norbiato (Calabria Family Wines, NSW)
Owner / Operator Of The Year – Jenny Semler (919 Wines, Riverland)
Viticulturalist Of The Year – Prue Henschke (Henschke, Barossa)
Workplace Champion Of Change – Iain Riggs & Brokenwood (NSW)
Henschke are already well known for their exceptional quality of wine, and the hard work and dedication of viticulturalist Prue across the 105 hectares of vineyard at their 147 year old family winery in Eden Valley has been rightfully celebrated.
Always an innovator, she has taken on better trellis and soil management in the vineyards using composts and mulches leading to the adoption of organic and biodynamic practices. As well, Prue has been very involved in developing better access and procedures for vine propagation material for the industry.
It seems the innovation doesn’t only stop at Henschke as the work of Rpberta De Bei and Cassandra Collins from the University of Adelaide was also well noted. Together Roberta and Cassandra have been working on a project aimed to develop innovative techniques for vineyard management and to unveil the link between canopy size, yield and grape and wine quality. Through this project the developed the VitiCanopy smartphone App that transforms the device into an effective instrument to measure grapevine canopy architecture in the vineyard.
Four out of the six winners being South Australian is a great achievement for the state. Now where is our glass, the best way to celebrate has to be with a toast!
Discover more about the Women In Wine Awards via their website.