When becoming a member you are supporting the only membership umbrella covering the entire small winemakers’ community. The AABW was founded in 1996 by Ms Judith Kennedy to give a voice to the minority group in the wine industry and its main purpose is one of marketing and information-sharing. Kennedy remains the CEO today.
The Association manages the Australian and New Zealand Boutique Wine Show. Huon Hooke is the founding Awards Chairman and still holds that position today. Gary Baldwin is a Senior judge and panel leader who has also served the show since 1996. Their unbroken records are unusual in the Australian wine industry and demonstrates their comittment to the boutique winemakers. Hooke and Baldwin are joined each year by ‘permanents’ Toni Paterson MW & Peter Leske and others making a total of nine judges and three associate judges.
Due to the acknowledged benefits of competition, comparison and peer review, the boutique winemakers of New Zealand were invited into the show for the first time in 2009.
The AABW’s focus has been and continues to be with the ’boutique’ members. The Jacks and Jills of all trades producing wine often in isolation and in need of industry and peer support are the focus. Many are time and cash poor looking for every opportunity to improve their skills, to cut their costs, to become aware of helpful trends and in the end to produce that ‘winning’ wine.
The committee members are: Ms Judith Kennedy who also serves as CEO and Chairman, Ms Louise Cole Cambewarra Estate Proprietor Company Secretary, Fine-wine on-line retailer Ross Anderson Treasurer and Nicola Rennie. The head office is based in Sydney NSW.
DEFINITION OF BOUTIQUE: A wine company which crushes and bottles 250 ton or less annually under its own label and is owned independently, i.e., not owned by a larger wine company.