MAURICE O’SHEA AWARD AND NEW MCWILLIAM’S EXCELLENCE IN ACTION AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED AT FIRST-EVER AUSTRALIAN WINE INDUSTRY AWARDS

26th June 2022 AUSTRALIAN WINE INDUSTRY AWARDS

Adelaide, South Australia: The winners of the prestigious Maurice O’Shea Award and the new McWilliam’s Excellence in Action Award were unveiled in a special ceremony on Sunday evening, marking a new era for the triennial industry event. 


Winemaker and consultant Pamela Dunsford OAM received this year’s Maurice O’Shea Award in honour of her 40-year-plus contribution to the Australia Wine Industry. For the new McWilliam’s Excellence in Action Award, the trophy went to the Australian Women In Wine Awards (AWIWA) for their dedicated focus on championing the work of women in the Australian wine community. 


Upon accepting the Maurice O’Shea Award, Dunsford said: “I’m honoured to be in the company of past winners of this award. I’ve always been pleased that I chose the profession of winemaking, rather than a lawyer or doctor, as the clients of my friends who are lawyers or doctors are unhappy to see them. But everyone is happy to see a winemaker.  


“I want to pay tribute to the great Len Evans (always Mr Evans to me), a past winner of this award and who, in the late 80s, wrote a reference for me to Krug, which opened the doors of the champagne houses to me, and of course, the rest of my story is now history.”


The award recognises Dunsford’s selfless contributions to the Australian wine industry spanning four decades in addition to blazing a trail for women in the wine industry, since first finding her passion for winemaking while studying at the University of Adelaide in 1973. Dunsford later became the first woman admitted to study Oenology at Roseworthy Agricultural College. 


Her string of firsts also includes being the first female winemaker to become a wine show judge, the first female to hold an important winemaking position at a large company, one of the first women in the country to be a wine educator and consultant, and the first woman to be employed at vintage at the renowned champagne house, Krug. Her consulting work led her to Chapel Hill where she oversaw an impressive 19 vintages as chief winemaker. 


Adrian Sparks, Chief Winemaker for Mount Pleasant Wines said: “Pamela’s dedication to the industry extends far beyond her direct contributions to her employment at some of Australia’s finest wineries. Without seeking reward or recognition, Pamela has given so much to the industry as a thought leader, educator, consultant, innovator and trailblazer. She wholly embodies what the Maurice O’Shea Award stands for and we are so honoured to celebrate her achievements at this special event.” 


In addition to the Maurice O’Shea Award, the new McWilliam’s Excellence In Action Award was also presented at the ceremony. The new award was created by McWilliam’s Wines' new owners - the Calabria Family Wine Group - as part of the new collaboration with Mount Pleasant to focus on the many current challenges facing the wine industry and the people or organisations tackling the key issues head on for the betterment of the industry. 


On accepting the award on behalf of the AWIWA, Founder Jane Thomson said: “It is a great honour to be the inaugural winner of this new and important industry award, and I want to thank McWilliam’s, the Calabria Family Wine Group and the judges.


“The AWIWA is enormously proud of the impact we have made on gender equality in our industry, but there is still so far to go. Whilst the wine industry is currently facing challenges on many fronts, this remains the issue of our time and we urgently need more resources, funding and energy to be directed towards increasing equality in the workplace for the betterment of the entire wine community.”


The AWIWA was founded in 2015 with the aim to support and mentor women, share experiences, encourage, inspire and action change. The awards play a critical role in recognising positive female role models and leaders in the sector, which the industry needs more of. 


On recognising the AWIWA for its first McWilliam’s Excellence in Action Award, Third-generation Sales & Marketing Director of Calabria Family Wine Group Andrew Calabria said: “There was an incredible selection of finalists considered for this new award, but the action demonstrated by Jane and the wider Australian Women in Wine Awards Advisory Board in mobilising the community to celebrate and recognise the female leaders in our industry stood out in the final selection.


“Diversity, equality and fairness for all in the workplace is not a challenge isolated to just the wine industry, but it's one we recognise is moving in the right direction thanks to this incredible organisation and the work they do to inspire change across the category.” 


The inaugural Australian Wine Industry Awards was presented at an invite-only ceremony and dinner at Aurora Restaurant in Adelaide. Leaders across the industry, media, producers and industry body representatives gathered to find out who would receive both awards on the night, followed by a special dinner matched with Mount Pleasant and McWilliam’s Wines. 


As part of the evolution of the awards, the Maurice O’Shea Award Trophy was designed and created by Design Awards in Sydney. Taking inspiration from Mount Pleasant’s new branding and the original wine labels created by Maurice O’Shea. The new Mount Pleasant brand utilises O’Shea’s family crest in its simple and confident form, and they utilised the swan from the crest as the hero of the trophy. 


The trophy for the new McWilliam’s Excellence in Action Award was designed and created by celebrated Australian glass artist Nick Mount in Adelaide. His contemporary interpretation of the glass wine bottle frames the overall work of the trophy, enhanced by Nick’s artistic flair and ability to look at materials and processes in new ways. 


Mount Pleasant and McWilliam’s Wines would like to thank Gold Sponsors for this event, Orora and CCL, in addition to Silver Sponsor Interpack and supporting partners Riedel, the Australian Wine Research Institute, and Jansz Tasmania. 

MAURICE O'SHEA AWARD TO RETURN

12TH MAY 2022 AUSTRALIAN WINE INDUSTRY AWARDS

The prestigious Maurice O’Shea Award will return in 2022 under the new Australian Wine Industry Awards event, in partnership with McWilliam’s Wines and Mount Pleasant Wines. The new awards will be presented at an exclusive event in Adelaide, South Australia on Sunday, 26 June 2022 ahead of the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference taking place that same week.


Founded in 1990 by the McWilliam family, the triennial awards ceremony commemorates and pays homage to Mount Pleasant's legendary, Maurice O’Shea. This significant industry award recognises an individual, group, or organisation for their incredible service or contribution to the industry through winemaking, cultivation, innovation and technology.


Following the change of ownership to both Mount Pleasant and McWilliam’s Wines in 2021 by the Medich Family Office and Calabria Family Wine Group respectively, the two felt passionate about working together to honour these distinguished awards and bring this important industry program into a new era.


“Maurice O’Shea was a man who devoted his efforts to the craft of making great Australian wine. The Maurice O’Shea Award is to honour and recognise a group or individual that has made a significant contribution to the industry by forging new pathways in their efforts to strive for excellence and greaten the industry as a whole,” Chief Winemaker for Mount Pleasant Wines, Adrian Sparks said.


“Mount Pleasant is proud to honour Maurice O’Shea and his enduring legacy to the Australian wine industry by presenting this award in collaboration with the Calabria family.”


In addition to the Maurice O’Shea Award, the new McWilliam’s Award for Excellence in Action will also be presented on the night to an individual, group or organisation that has made a significant impact in

the face of the numerous challenges currently facing the Australian wine industry.


“While the iconic Maurice O’Shea Award celebrates the significant contribution of a group or individual to the industry, we’ve created the McWilliam’s Award for Excellence in Action to focus on the many

challenges facing the wine industry - challenges like climate change, diversity and equality, and international market access - and the important people or industry bodies that have tackled these

obstacles head-on for the betterment of our industry,” third-generation Sales & Marketing Director for Calabria Family Wine Group Andrew Calabria said.


“McWilliam’s Wines has had its fair share of challenges in its 143-year history, but the family’s perseverance and commitment to the industry are what, to me, stand out over those many years and we felt this new distinction was an important way to honour that.”


Under the new partnership, Mount Pleasant and McWilliam’s have called upon leaders across the Australian wine industry to join an exclusive judging committee to confer and nominate potential

winners of both awards. The selected judges include industry body leaders, journalists, winemakers and representatives from Mount Pleasant, McWilliam’s Wines and Calabria Family Wines. A full list of

judges is provided below.


“The conferral process aims to ensure the two awards remain true to Maurice O’Shea’s reputation as the highest honour afforded to a member of the wine industry. We are excited to bring together this

selection of respected and experienced wine professionals to nominate the finest candidates for these awards,” Sparks said.


The Australian Wine Industry Awards, presented by Mount Pleasant and McWilliam’s Wines, will take place by invite only on Sunday, 26 June 2022 in Adelaide, South Australia. The names of the winners

will be announced that evening and via media release the following day.


Mount Pleasant and McWilliam’s Wines are pleased to welcome the following industry representatives as inaugural judges of the Australian Wine Industry Awards:


Phil Ryan, Ambassador, Mount Pleasant Wines

Campbell Mattinson, independent wine journalist

Louisa Rose, Head of Winemaking, Yalumba and Hills Smith Family Vineyards

Bill Calabria AM, Director and Winemaker, Calabria Family Wine Group

Mark Krstic, Managing Director, Australian Wine Research Institute

Tony Battaglene, Chief Executive, Australian Grape & Wine

Jane Faulkner, independent wine journalist

Doug McWilliam, past chairman, McWilliam's Wines and 5th generation industry family member