Media Releases

03 January 2016

McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association has awarded Berenice Axisa the 2016 Wayne Thomas Scholarship which fosters the development of future Australian wine judges and McLaren Vale ambassadors.

Named after prominent McLaren Vale wine identity, the late Wayne Thomas, scholarship recipients receive a fully funded place at the Australian Wine Research Institute’s Advanced Wine Assessment Course and the opportunity to judge as an Associate Judge at the 2016 McLaren Vale Wine Show, one of Australia’s most significant wine shows.

As Sales and Marketing Manager at Woodstock Winery, Berenice is a proud ambassador and industry leader of the McLaren Vale wine region.

“I am thrilled and humbled at receiving this award. I also feel lucky and proud to part of the McLaren Vale community,” said Ms Axisa.

“I think that this region brings together so many different personalities, cultures and wine styles – a region where many can express themselves in different ways yet still live harmoniously within the community.”

Berenice will experience different wine styles from around the world and develop her sensory vocabulary and palate calibration alongside esteemed industry peers.

McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association General Manager, Jennifer Lynch, reaffirms the region’s reputation as a home for leaders of the wine industry, with many inspiring women recently recognised.

“The scholarship enables recipients to advance their judging profile whilst also developing knowledge and experience to benefit our region and industry,” said Ms Lynch.

“Berenice joins the company of several McLaren Vale leaders that have recently been recognised for their efforts in viticulture and sustainability, including the Women in Wine Award recipients, Ulithorne’s Rose Kentish and Inkwell’s Dr. Irina Santiago-Brown, as well as James Halliday’s Winemaker of the Year, Peter Fraser from Yangarra Vineyard Estate.”

The Scholarship is funded by proceeds raised through the McLaren Vale Ladies Long Lunch – a charity event for business women of Adelaide and the McLaren Vale wine region.

Media Enquiries:

Lucy Gosling, Marketing and Communications, MVGWTA
P: +61 8 8323 8999, E:

18 November 2015

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, the 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.

For more information, please visit

Media Enquiries:

Lucy Gosling, Marketing and Communications, MVGWTA
P: +61 8 8323 8999, E:

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