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 awards are an initiative of The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society, and are overseen by an advisory board of industry leaders. They like to get things done. So we like to call them the AWIWA Action Board! 

The 2020 Action Board

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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. Awarded ‘Digital Wine Communicator of the Year’ by Wine Communicators of Australia in 2019, 2016 and 2013, Jane is the only person to have won this award more than once. This has made her think that, despite many 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, and was voted as one of Wine Business Magazine’s ‘Top Stars’ of 2012 & 2016. In 2019 she was chosen as the Australian representative to sign an international accord agreement for women in wine groups around the world to work together, at the Global Forum of Women in Wine in Milan (Italy). She was ably accompanied in this by the ASVO 2019 Winemaker of the Year, Corrina Wright.

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Alexia Roberts

Alexia has been the winemaker for the Galvanised Wine Group in McLaren Vale since 2013 (which includes the Penny’s Hill, Thomas Goss and The Black Chook brands).  Since Alexia’s commencement, Penny’s Hill has risen in status, scoring trophies, gold medals and high-pointed reviews with regularity. In both 2016 and 2017 Penny’s Hill was awarded the ‘Best Australian Red Wine’ at the prestigious Mundus Vini in Germany, as well as ‘World’s Best Cabernet’ in 2016 at Concours International des Cabernets in France and in 2018 the ‘Champion Cabernet Sauvignon and Predominant Blends’ at the New Zealand International Wine Show.

After working vintages in Italy [Emilia Romagna] and France [Burgundy] and producing wines from South Australia’s key regions, Alexia completed the AWAC course. Her contribution to the greater industry includes membership of wine show committees, judging at regional wine shows and a growing record of medals, trophies and accolades. In 2017, Alexia graduated from the highly regarded Wine Australia Future Leaders program.

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.

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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..

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Sarah Collingwood

Sarah Collingwood owns and manages a micro-winery and vineyard with her family in the Canberra District, Four Winds Vineyard. Since 2010, she has been in charge of the logistics and paperwork that underpin the operation. Sarah ran a successful crowd-funding campaign in 2014 to raise $23,000 to expand their winery. In 2015 she has used her experience in finance and marketing to turn four tonnes of spare shiraz grapes into over $46,000 for refugees and asylum seekers in Canberra. She was named the 2017 Australian Women in Wine owner/operator of the year and sits on the Canberra District Wine Industry Association Committee.

With Sarah on board, Four Winds Vineyard’s range of labels has been awarded three international awards for their photography-series labels: overall supreme at the 2017 Drinks International Wine Design Challenge, overall champion at the Harpers Wine and Spirits Design Awards 2017 and gold at the Design Effectiveness Awards in London 2018.

Sarah’s career began at the Sydney, Salt Lake & Torino Olympic Games where she worked in television broadcasting and large workforce management. Outside the business Sarah is the mother of two and aims to ride her mountain bike and screen-print whenever time permits.

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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.

Shirley Fraser

Shirley Fraser

Shirley Fraser is a wine strategy professional based in South Australia. Drawing on over 20 years of wine industry experience to facilitate change that is innovative, relevant and effective. A Roseworthy Wine Marketing graduate and 2017 Future Leaders alumni, current Coaching Mastery participant for Future Leaders 2019, Shirley was also a finalist for Marketer of the Year 2018 in the Australian Women in Wine Awards and was a judge for the WISA Impact Awards 2019.

Dedicated to unlocking the potential of each brand she works with regardless of size or scope, Shirley is a collaborative problem solver. Cultivating authentic stories, uniqueness and causes, to build connections between brands in routes to market to achieve sustainable success. Current Board member of Riverland Wine Management Committee; National Board member of Wine Communicators Australia; and Chair of the SA Chapter of Wine Communicators of Australia. Shirley is excited to be joining the advisory for AWIWA; for the encouragement and advocacy of women working in wine, and how she can lean in for any woman in the industry wanting to thrive.

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