About the Australian Women in Wine Awards

The Australian Women In Wine Awards acknowledges and rewards the work of women in the Australian wine community, and community leaders who champion equality and fairness for all sexes in the workplace. We seek to support and mentor women, to share experiences, to encourage and inspire and highlight, where we see it, the need for change.

The Australian wine community needs more positive female role models and leaders. With these awards we hope to highlight a few more of them.

The Advisory Board

Jane Thomson

Founder & Chair

Jane is the founder and Managing Director of The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society, Australia’s first and wildly successful wine community for women. In both 2013 and 2016  Jane was awarded ‘Digital Wine Communicator of the Year’ by Wine Communicators of Australia – the only person to have won this award twice. Which made her think that, despite most people telling her she was crazy, perhaps she was doing something right…

Not only is Jane passionate about communicating the joys of wine to an increasingly savvy female audience of wine lovers, but she’s equally determined to do everything within her power to showcase the fabulous female talent within the Australian wine industry.

In March 2015 Jane represented Australia at the first ever Women in Wine Global Symposium in Napa, CA. It was from that experience that she returned with the vision to found the Australian Women in Wine Awards. A vision which has only become possible thanks to the support and exceptional talent of the members of this advisory board.

Jane is also the Drinks Editor for Taste.com.au Magazine, occasionally moonlights as National Wine Writer for News Corp, and was voted as one of Wine Business Magazine’s ‘Top Stars’ of 2012 & 2016.

Corrina Wright

Described by WBM Magazine as a “legend in the making” and by James Halliday as being part of a “remarkable dynasty” Corrina is the Director and Winemaker (and sixth generation member) of her family’s label, Oliver’s Taranga.

She has collected a display case full of awards that would make even the most celebrated winemaker blush. She graduated from the prestigious Len Evans Tutorial in 2005, and continues to judge at numerous wine shows around Australia as well as guest judging at the AWRI Advanced Wine Assessment Course. Passionate about her home, her vocation and local community she has also served on the Boards of the McLaren Vale Grape, Wine & Tourism Association and the Australian Society of Viticulture & Oenology, and hosted the 2016 WISA Wine Industry Impact Awards. She is a current board member for the Winemakers Federation of Australia representing small winemakers, and has recently started exploring her talent for storytelling, writing regular pieces for Fleurieu Living Magazine. Corrina is furious that we are losing women from our wonderful industry, and is determined not to sit back and let it happen.

Sam Connew

A highly experienced and respected winemaker, Tasmanian based Samantha Connew has her own label  Stargazer, and consulting company, Compass Wine Consulting.  During her prestigious career she has been the Manager of the Hunter Valley Node for the Australian Wine Research Institute, Winemaker/Manager of boutique Hunter Valley winery, Tower Estate and Senior Winemaker at Wirra Wirra Vineyards in McLaren Vale.

In 2007 she was awarded ‘International Red Winemaker of the Year’ at the prestigious International Wine Challenge in London, and in 2008 she was a South Australian finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards. She has served on the boards of several regional associations and was a board member of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology from 2011 to 2013. She is a highly respected wine show judge and has been a Panel Chair at many regional and capital city wine shows, having completed both the Advanced Wine Assessment Course and the Len Evans Tutorial. In 2014 she was appointed Chair of Judges at the Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show, the first female and the youngest judge in that position.

Jeni Port cropped

Jeni Port

Jeni Port is a freelance wine writer based in Melbourne. She iwas the longest-serving wine writer on The Age newspaper and a long time contributor to Winestate magazine, Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine, James Halliday Wine Companion magazine, Wine Selector magazine and Meininger’s Wine Business International magazine. Jeni is also the author of Choosing Australian Wine, Crushed By Women: Women and Wine and the Australasian contributor to Dorling Kinderlsey’s Wines of the World.

In 2014 Jeni was named a Legend of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and was awarded Wine Communicator of the Year by Wine Communicators of Australia.

Jeni is also a regular wine judge in the Australian wine show circuit and is a judge on the annual ‘Australian Wine List of the Year’ awards and ‘China Wine List of the Year’ awards..


Sarah Andrew

So much more than just academic, Sarah’s love of wine started with a double degree at Monash University with Honours in 1996 (Bachelor of Arts Hons & Bachelor of Science). Followed by completing the Court of Master Sommelier, Certified Sommelier exams in September 2010 and being a candidate on the L’Erudito Lorenzo Galli Scholarship in January 2011.


In June 2012 she completed the AWRI Wine Judging Assessment Course. Sarah graduated with a Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Diploma in January 2013 and has been a certified educator for the Global WSET since May 2013. Since 2014 she has offered the A+ Australian Wine Course to general public and wine trade professionals. In 2014 Sarah was awarded the Coonawarra Leaders Award Scholarship, which became her WSET Diploma Honours research project.


Sarah operated Selador Wines a wine consultancy for 11 years before joining Fine Wine Partners as Business Manager of Fine Wine & Education in 2016. In this role she is the buyer for the Museum & Rare portfolio of wine and national educator for the international WSET qualifications. Sarah is actively involved in Sommeliers Australia, on the Victorian Committee (Vice President) and also on the Victorian Committee for Wine Communicators of Australia.


In addition she is actively involved in the National Women in Wine activities and is the Melbourne representative and host for events throughout the year. She is actively involved in various wine shows around Australia as an Associate Judge and Judge

Toni - profile pic crop

Toni Carlino

Toni fell in love with wine at an early (but appropriately responsible) age. In 1997 she commenced her Masters in Wine Marketing at Edith Cowan University in WA as well as joining Rosemount Estates in a Sales role. After a few years and a merger with Southcorp Wines, Toni commenced her first marketing role in Sydney supporting the global team on Lindemans, Rosemount, Penfolds and Wynns. The softpack and value brand portfolio was her next challenge followed by an opportunity to develop new innovative brands for Southcorp in Australian and International markets.

Her next major project was her own innovation and the birth of her daughter in 2005. Time on maternity leave followed by a Brand Development Manager role with Crown kept her in WA for a few years but was not enough to fullfill her desire to work in wine!

In 2010 Toni became the National Marketing Manager for De Bortoli Wines. In 2014 Toni joined Treasury Wine Estates as Marketing Manager Regional Brands – responsible for some of her favourite brands Wynns, Pepperjack, Seppelt, Coldstream Hills, Devils Lair, Saltram and Heemskerk. She loves the dynamic platform that social media provides for wine – the story telling and sharing that we all love.


Rebekah Richardson

When Beck isn’t thinking up new ways to further the cause of women in the wine industry, or climbing a rock, she is pretty involved with creating new and fascinating wines for Irvine Wines. After over 20 years in the wine business working with some of the largest companies (E&J Gallo, TWE, Pernod Ricard) Beck decided it was time to come back to the core of what had drawn her to wine and bring her skill set to a smaller but forward thinking business. Thus was born the collaboration with Irvine Wines. In her role as winemaker/brand architect Beck helps create the wines and the vision for those wines, challenging the norms of what Eden and Barossa Valley vineyards can produce. Creating wines of purity and grace.  

Her passion is pushing the boundaries of what we think is possible for wine and her direction lies in innovation and experimentation. In her winemaking career thus far the portfolios she has managed have won over 500 awards and trophies both domestically and internationally.

Actively involved in the industry Beck sat on the Wine Innovation Cluster leadership group and the Adelaide Hills Regional board as well as being a Wine Industry Future Leaders graduate. She holds an degree in Oenology, an Masters in Business Administration and a post graduate diploma in marketing.



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