The second edition of Women in Wine and Spirits Awards (WINWSA), the seminal awards created to recognize aspiring women in global beverage industry, has announced its much anticipated “50 List of Influence” for the year 2021.
The top 50 list, whittled down from over 130 nominations from 28 countries includes women who wield power from viticulture, hospitality, distillery, education, design and packaging to media and communications.
All the women on the list, according to the award organizer, “display an incredibly colorful tapestry of diversified focuses and expertise that all exemplify the evolution and trend in drink business. They equally deserve limelight and recognition as final winners.”
The list this year looks different from last year’s. Women have gained ground in the competitive wine and spirits world in a year that’s still marked by the pandemic, and the list has expanded to reflect the diversity of female talents working in different sectors of today’s alcoholic beverage industry.
Some of the new faces on the list include renowned fashion designer Vera Wang who debuted her eye-catching Prosecco and USA-based entrepreneur and designer, Elise Som who created her women-led Mijenta Tequila.
The finalists are selected based on four criteria, which are insightfulness and professional accomplishment, impact, contribution and vision. “The judging process was steered through scoring by authoritative judging panel to select the influential female professionals through four judging criteria,” the organizer explains. “Under the special circumstance in 2021, we were forced to organize conference calls and online discussions instead of meetings, to maintain the utmost accuracy and impartiality during the process.”
The women are not only recognized for their capability, influence but also their social responsibility. Cristina Mariani-May, CEO of Italy’s leading wine empire, Banfi Vintners, is the winner of the Vision Awards for her sustainability efforts for pushing the renowned Italian wine brand Banfi towards modern and sustainable practices.
Laura Catena of Argentina, a fourth generation winemaker, managing director of the Catena Zapata winery, and founder of the Catena Institute of Wine, is also recognized for her corporate social responsibility (CSR) drive.
Scroll to the next page to see all the winemakers, master blenders, educators, wine writers, journalists, sommeliers, entrepreneurs and all the inspiring women shaping the wine and spirits industry today.