20 years ago this week, Huon Hooke agreed to take the role of Chairman of the newly established Boutique Wine Awards. Hooke invited Gary Baldwin and Peter Bourne to assist him with the judging which took place in a small function room at the Renaissance Hotel, Pitt Street Sydney (now the Marriot). Chain of Ponds was the big winner that year with five trophies and industry luminaries such as Bill Chambers and Ralph Fowler came along to lend their support. A public wine festival was held over four days, thousands attended with 1300 on trade day alone. Minister Tim Fisher attended and opened the show and the press coverage was wide. The Association of Australian Boutique Winemakers had commenced its run.