The 2017 winners of the Born Digital Wine Awards by Wine in Moderation were released at 6pm CET on 30 November during an online awards ceremony.
This year’s awards attracted over 310 entries from 21 countries with material accepted in seven different languages. Greek was a new language for this year’s edition which further broadened the reach of the awards. Following initial assessment and verification by group of local judges in each language, approximately 50% of the entries passed to the final round of assessment and were scrutinised by a panel of international experts including last year’s winners.
The 49 shortlisted entries in the five categories Best Editorial / Opinion wine writing, Best Investigative article, Best Tourism article with a wine focus, Best photograph showing the culture of wine and Best Wine Video, included material from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Serbia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, U.K. and U.S.A. creating a truly international benchmark of quality journalism. The shortlisted entries were released on the Born Digital Website gradually starting on 10th October and authors received personalised tweets in a variety of languages, these were well received and diffused amongst the community of online communicators and influencers generating over 2.5m impressions in one 4-day period.
Ryan Opaz, creator of the awards said, “engaging arguments, innovative approach, quality in language and use of the digital tools the web offers us today are some of the winning elements for entries in the Born Digital Wine Awards. This competition was created with the hope of recognizing excellence in wine communications not only to reputed, experienced writers, but also to the new generation of wine lovers. These awards provide our main sponsor Wine in Moderation with an opportunity to reward and give value to all those who are working to help spread the culture of wine globally.”
Nadia Frittella, Communication Manager of the WiM Association, continued “All the great content submitted through the years, makes you appreciate the important place wine communicators have in today’s world in revealing the complexity of wine and its culture. Thank you for your invaluable contributions!”
The award’s most popular category Best Editorial / Opinion wine writing, accounted for 40% of the articles that made it into the semifinals and proved to be one of the most interesting and challenging categories for assessors and judges. First place was awarded to Jane Anson for her discussion on ‘Why a decline in soil health should worry all wine lovers’, an account of how essential soil health is to wine quality. Second place went to Jonathan Lipsmeyer’s article on wine and gender ‘Chambolle = Feminine. But Why?’ and third place was assigned to Simon Woolf for his account of ‘Making Orange wine in the Douro’.
The investigative category included interesting discussions covering technical, historical, commercial and legal aspects relating to wine. Jonathan Lipsmeyer’s historical account of ‘Wine and Gender : a critical history’ scooped first prize whilst second was awarded to Simon Reilly’s discussion on governmental control and taxation on wines in ‘If big brother were a barman’. Third prize was assigned to Meg Maker for ‘Own-rooted: a Vine Stock Nursery story’.
The tourism category shone the spotlight on some lesser-known wines and wine-making regions. Elizabeth Smith’s article ‘Lodi: Beyond the Zinfandel’ revealed a surprising range of wines from the northern part of California’s Central Valley and won the category. Second place was given to German journalist Patrick Hemminger for his article on Verdicchio from the central-Italian region, Marches, in ‘Reifezeit’, whilst third place was awarded to Charine Tan for her article entitled ‘Your cheat Sheet to the wine’s of Cyprus : Part 1’.
Wine photographers entered many stunning shots for this year’s competition with the vivid image of an ancient vine, ‘Cepa Centinaria’ by Spanish photographer Alvaro Prieto took first prize. Italian photographer Claudio dell’Osa’s striking black and white image ‘Love for wine’ was awarded second whilst Portuguese photographer Pedro Lopes’ image of misty vineyards ‘Ready for the Harvest’ won third place.
Helena Nicklin with her ‘Fabulous Facts about Franciacorta’, part of the Winebird series of one-minute videos aimed at wine lovers, won the Best Video category whilst Kendall Busby infectiously catchy and entertaining parody of the hit Cheap Thrills entitled ‘Grape Thrills’ was awarded second place. Third place was given to Thibault De Gregori of CIVL for ‘The Origins of wine in Languedoc Rousillon’.
Main sponsor Wine in Moderation - Art de Vivre each year awards a special Responsibility Prize to the article which best promotes responsible consumption of wine and a healthy lifestyle. This year’s winner, Lauren Mowery’s article entitled ‘How Wine Professionals Use Yoga to Balance Life’ perfectly matched the Wine in Moderation approach and message. Stylianos Filopoulos, director of the WiM Association, said, “We are proud to support the awards that promote a sustainable wine culture and we are delighted with the evolution of the BDWAbyWIM as a reference for wine communicators around the world. Moderation is about balance, we are therefore particularly happy with this year’s winner of the Responsibility award, promoting the need to balance our daily (working) life”.
This year leading Champagne group Moët Hennessy sponsored the Best Editorial / Opinion wine writing and will provide the three winners with a special sponsor prize. The top three winners in each category will each receive cash prizes of 500 euro, 250 euro and 100 euro respectively.
Born Digital Wine Awards would like to thank Wine in Moderation, the participants, sponsors and supporters involved in making this edition the most successful to date.