The Association of Australian Boutique Winemakers (AABW) & Australian & New Zealand Boutique Wine Show (ANZBWS) were founded in 1996 by Ms Judith Kennedy AM to give a voice to the minority group in the wine industry. Its main purpose is one of marketing and information-sharing.
The Australian & New Zealand Wine Show is honored and privileged to have Huon Hooke as the founding Awards Chairman – a position he still holds to this day. 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 commitment to the boutique winemakers. Hooke and Baldwin are joined each year by ‘permanents’ Toni Paterson MW & Peter Leske and other winemakers and industry personnel 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 ANZBWS’s focus has been and continues to be with the ’boutique’ producers of Australia & New Zealand. 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.
2018 sees a changing of the guard with Ross Anderson taking over the reins of this critically important wine show from Judith Kennedy. Ross has worked with Judith closely over the past 10 years of the Boutique Show as well as its partner show – The Six Nations Wine Challenge (www.sixnationswine.com.au) and is looking to place increased focus on the small regional producers across both Australia & New Zealand. Kennedy holds the position of Patron of the Show.