Ahead of the announcement of the winners of the 2016 Australian Women in Wine Awards on Tuesday November 15 (find a celebration event near you) we take a closer look at our fabulous finalists in the Workplace Champion of Change category, so you can get to know your #winechicks!
This year our finalists for Workplace Champion of Change are (in alphabetical order):
Sponsored by VinoMofo
- Irene Hatzigeorgiou
- Lyndey Milan
- Iain Riggs / Brokenwood, Hunter Valley NSW
Irene has over 20 years’ experience in Sales, Hospitality, Wine, Telecommunications and Music industries.
Currently working as the Human Resources manager for United Cellars, a direct to consumer wholesaler and retailer, wine services. They have a direct line to their network of wineries and suppliers for allocations of premium wines allowing them to deliver competitively priced wines with excellent service. They provide a personalised sommelier experience helping their clients make educated and informed decisions confidently when adding wines to collections.
Irene manages their people, focusing on recruitment and allocation of human resources. Providing current and prospective employees with information on policy, job descriptions, working conditions, opportunities, training, employee benefits and recreational programs. Ensuring that United Cellars continues to be a thriving culture of creative, innovative and happy collectives.
Irene has proudly endorsed the development of the women of United Cellars. She has supported the growth of these women into management positons, providing an equitable and equal environment for them to launch from.
Australian food and wine luminary who combines a thirst for life and a sense of fun with a love of good food and sparkling shiraz.
A familiar face on television and in print, she has been instrumental in changing the way Australians think about food and wine for thirty years via her own nine best-selling cookbooks, eight internationally distributed TV series and previous influence as Food Director of the iconic Australian Women’s Weekly. An award-winning multi-media presenter, MC, speaker, food & wine teacher, consultant, debater, judge and regional Australian specialist with 30 years’ experience, she has always broken the mould.
First female Vice-President of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW & Chair of Sydney Royal Wine show she is also as Co-Founder and Patron of Tasting Success, a mentoring program for female chefs. Lyndey is also Creative Director of Flame Media, an international TV Production and distribution company.
Iain Riggs, Hunter Valley NSW
Iain Riggs, Managing Director, Chief Winemaker and part owner of Brokenwood Wines, has taken Brokenwood from a small ‘hobby’ winery to the national and international arena. Iain’s skills in white winemaking revolutionized Brokenwood, which, when he joined, only produced red wines. Brokenwood Wines is in its 34th vintage with Iain at the helm.
Born in Burra, South Australia, Iain’s first insight into the wine industry was through relatives who lived in the Riverland region. These were very much ‘brandy and dry’ times, but the allure of table wine drew the young Iain. The experience that set him on the path that was to become his life was a bottle of 1970 Leo Buring DW110 Riesling – he has been tied to the power of the vine ever since.
Iain studied at Roseworthy College between 1972 and 1975, graduating with honors. At this time, the industry was undergoing a major change, namely the emergence of white wine. He first worked at Bleasedale and Hazelmere in McLaren Vale. At Hazelmere, he sparked his interest in varietal blending and was one of the pioneers of the now famous combination of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. At Hazelmere, Iain, as Chief Winemaker, focused on white wines, and was crowned McLaren Vale Bushing King in 1982 with his multi trophy winning Chardonnay.
Iain is past Chairman of the Hunter Valley Wine Show, having taken over from Len Evans in 2002 and has been honored with the naming of the Iain Riggs Wine of Provence Trophy. Iain has also stepped down as Chairman of Judges at the Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show after six years in the role having started as an Associate Judge in 1990. The Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales awarded Iain their 2014 Contributors Award for services to the RAS.
Iain’s strong interest in ‘improving the breed’ of Australian wine sees him as Chairman of Trustees of the Len Evans Foundation that conducts the week long Len Evans Tutorial. On the wine industry political side, Iain was an inaugural Board member of the Winemakers Federation of Australia serving from 1989 to 1995, its Vice President and President of the Australian Winemakers Forum.
Iain is currently Chairman of the Shanghai International Wine Challenge and Chairman of the Qantas Wine Show of Western Australia. At the 2013 Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine Winemaker of the Year Awards, Iain was honored with the Len Evans Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Wine Industry. In 2003, Iain was awarded the Graham Gregory trophy for outstanding service to the NSW wine industry.
Iain is the driving force behind Brokenwood’s flagship wine, the Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz and its promotion as a unique Single Vineyard Shiraz. Rated as Exceptional in the Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine, it is still the only Hunter Valley Shiraz to feature. A number of other premium Brokenwood Shiraz feature in the portfolio including the Mistress Block Vineyard Shiraz, Verona Vineyard Shiraz, Wade Block 2 Vineyard Shiraz and the Indigo Vineyard Shiraz. Iain is also a great promoter of Hunter Valley Semillon with the highly acclaimed ILR (Iain Leslie Riggs) Reserve Semillon as the Brokenwood flagship white.
After 32 vintages, Iain’s premium region focus and Single Vineyard philosophy are still as strong as ever.
The announcement of the winners of all six categories of the 2016 Australian Women in Wine Awards will be streamed via live broadcast at 7:30pm AEDST on Tuesday 15 November. Watch live from home or better yet – join a celebration near you or register your own!