Celebrating 30 years of Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards

2023 marked the 30th anniversary of Australia’s longest-running and most prestigious wine and beverage list recognition program – Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards.

Noting the opportunity to mark the special occasion, we worked with the Awards team to elevate and streamline the event program and communications around this significant event which celebrates the sommeliers and venue owners behind some of Australia’s very best wine and beverage lists.

Blend was responsible for the production of the entire event, from venue sourcing and supplier management to program development, talent briefings, award presentation development and design, and on-the-day management.

In addition to the event production, Blend was responsible for developing and executing the communications plan in the lead-up to and after the event, which included social media, EDM copy development, and PR promotion through Australia’s trade and beverage media. These elements of the program were crucial in achieving a record number of entries for this year’s event.

Ovolo Hotel played host to the major celebration, which included three wine-focussed masterclasses, 1-on-1 Sommelier and Judge Speed Dating, a producer Tasting Trail featuring more than 20 individual drinks producers for guests to taste through, and the major highlight of the event – Australia’s Wine List of the Year Ceremony – which saw more than 40 categories awarded including the crowing achievements of Australia’s Wine List of the Year and the Judy Hirst Award for the Sommelier(s) responsible for the winning list.

More than 350 of the industry’s finest attended the anniversary event, with Sydney seafood venue Cirrus taking home the title for Australia’s Wine List of the Year and sommeliers Nick Hildebrandt and Polly Mackarel winning the Judy Hirst Award.

In addition to delivering a ceremony fit for a 30th anniversary, the 2023 Awards achieved outstanding results.

Blend secured a print exclusive with national masthead, The Australian, the morning after the results were announced. Additional PR coverage included a national feature with Broadsheet and features on TimeOut Sydney, Nine.com.au, The Latch, a front-page story in The Launceston Examiner, a feature on Glam Adelaide, and widespread coverage across Australia’s drinks trade titles. News of Australia’s Wine List of the Year reached more than 3.5 million readers.

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