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18, November 2015

Inaugural Women In Wine Awards Celebrates Two McLaren Vale Locals

At the inaugural Australian Women In Wine Awards on November 17, two McLaren Vale locals shined, taking out two of the four major industry awards.

Rose Kentish, winemaker and owner of Ulithorne Wines, was awarded Winemaker of the Year and Dr Irina Santiago-Brown, viticulturist from Inkwell Wines and lead developer of the Sustainable Australia Winegrowing program, was named Viticulturist of the Year.

The Australian Women In Wine Awards acknowledges and rewards the work of women in the Australian wine industry, and industry leaders who champion equality and fairness for all sexes in the workplace.

Ms Kentish’s award recognised an ‘outstanding winemaker who is a leader in the profession, with a particular focus on the previous calendar year’s achievements’, with Dr Santiago-Brown commended for ‘consistent performance over the last few seasons, and use of innovation and/or best practice methods to achieve results.’

Winners were announced via a live online broadcast, making the celebration accessible to busy wine industry women across the nation, with the McLaren Vale festivities taking place at Oliver’s Taranga.

McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Chair, John Hill commends the awards, recognising the importance of celebrating women in the wine industry.

“Rewarding the work of women in wine as well as recognising industry leaders who encourage equality and fairness in the workplace is integral to the advancement and development of the Australian wine industry,” said Mr Hill.

“In acknowledgement of the need for continued progression of gender equality in the workplace, McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association is proud to have a number of women in high-level executive roles, including Jennifer Lynch as General Manager.

“Congratulations to both Rose and Irina as worthy recipients of the awards – a great display of the skill, dedication and innovation of passionate McLaren Vale women in wine.”

Rose and Irina are honoured to be named as winners.

“The road I am taking has not been well-travelled, and there have been very few women I have been able to see leading and inspiring me through my life’s journey so far. If I can do this for others, be a leader for other women, then it has been all the more worthwhile,” said Ms Kentish.

“Being chosen in the inaugural year is a historic moment for McLaren Vale and Inkwell and I am honoured and grateful,” said Dr Santiago-Brown.

“The Women in Wine Awards is an opportunity and a challenge for women who are already “in wine” to come out of the background of their businesses and show their purple hands and work boots to the world! It’s also a call for new women to become part of this amazing industry.”

The 2015 Australian Women In Wine Awards was the first of what is expected to become an annual awards program.

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Pictured: (from left to right) Irina Santiago-Brown, Winner: Viticulturist of the Year 2015, Briony Hoare, Finalist: Owner Operator of the Year 2015, Rose Kentish, Winner: Winemaker of the Year 2015.

PHOTO CREDIT: Milton Wordley