4 March 2019, Sydney: McWilliam’s Wines Group, in conjunction with the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference (AWITC), is calling for nominations for the Maurice O’Shea Award for 2019.

Instigated by the McWilliam’s family in 1990, the Maurice O’Shea Award Dinner is recognised as the most prestigious event on the wine industry calendar and was named to commemorate the legacy of one of the most iconic winemakers in Australian wine, Maurice O’Shea. After a successful partnership was formed in 2016, this is the second time the Award Dinner is being held in conjunction with the AWITC, which also incorporates the Australian Grape & Wine Outlook Conference and the WineTech trade exhibition.

The award has recognised some of the most influential identities, initiatives and organisations within the Australian wine industry including the Len Evans Tutorial, Dr Peter Dry and The Australian Screwcap Initiative. This year, the team are once again looking for nominations of people or organisations who are continuing to build, drive and push the Australian wine industry to be a world leader for winemaking, cultivation, innovation and technology.


2016 Maurice O’Shea Award Winner – The Len Evans Tutorial


Commenting on the awards, McWilliam’s Wines Group CEO David Pitt said, “It is with great pride that McWilliam’s Wines Group has the opportunity to once again celebrate one of the great identities in modern winemaking, Maurice O’Shea, at the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference this year.”

“Australia is blessed with not only a stunning landscape in which vines can thrive but passionate, driven and innovative individuals that make it what it is today. This award celebrates those people and our industry,” he continued.

One of the most iconic individuals in the Australian wine world today, James Halliday is a past winner of the award. He praised its recognition of those who have made a significant impact for the betterment of the industry, saying “I have always regarded the Maurice O’Shea Award as the most significant award anyone in the wine fraternity/industry can achieve in their lifetime.”

Chair of the AWITC, Dr Dan Johnson added “The AWITC is delighted to continue its partnership with McWilliam’s Wines Group to align the Maurice O’Shea Award Dinner with the staging of this year’s collaborative event. It is highly appropriate for this prestigious award, which recognises innovation, to be held with the industry’s major technical and business conference.”

Nominations are open to any person, brand, institute, activity or entity who has shown a significant contribution to the Australian wine industry. Nominations will be taken until 18 March 2019 and can be submitted to the committee by email to MOSA@mcwilliamswines.com.au. To be considered for the award, nominations only require a name and any supportive collateral as to why the selected person, brand, institute, activity or entity is worthy of this award. All entries will be confidentially reviewed by a selections committee that includes representation of the MWG board, a past winner, key media influencers and younger industry leaders.

The winner will be announced at the Maurice O’Shea Award Dinner at the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference in Adelaide on 22 July 2019. AWITC delegates can book tickets to the Maurice O’Shea Award Dinner as part of their registration. Tickets will also be available directly from McWilliam’s Wines Group from 22 March 2019.

MWG is an unlisted public company with an illustrious heritage of over 140 years. It possesses an extensive product range marketed under a portfolio of owned brands, including McWilliam’s, Barwang and Mount Pleasant. MWG is also the sole Australian distributor for prominent global brands Champagne Taittinger, Mateus, Henkell, Mionetto, Coombe and Framingham.

The McWilliam’s Maurice O’Shea Award Dinner was founded in 1990 and is regarded as the most prestigious event on the wine industry calendar.
The Triennial McWilliam’s Maurice O’Shea Award commemorates and pays homage to the legendary Maurice O’Shea. The Award is presented to an individual, group, activity, association, institute or corporation, which has made a significant contribution to the Australian wine industry.
Previous winners of the Maurice O’Shea Awards include –

  • The Len Evans Tutorial (2016)
  • Dr Peter Dry (2014)
  • The Australian Screwcap Initiative (2012)
  • Philip Laffer AM (2010)
  • Dr John Gladstones (2008)
  • The late Dr Ray Beckwith OAM (2006)
  • The Late Guenter Prass AM (2004)
  • The Australian Wine Research Institute (2002)
  • Dr Wolf Blass AM (2000)
  • The Late Dr Bryce Rankine AM (1998)
  • Brian Croser AO (1997)
  • Hazel Murphy AM (1996)
  • James Halliday AM (1995)
  • The Jacob’s Creek Brand (1994)
  • The Late David Wynn AO (1993)
  • The Late Ron Potter OAM (1992)
  • The Late Len Evans OBE AO (1991)
  • The Late Max Schubert AM (1990)

The Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference is the premier technical event for the Australian wine industry. Held every three years since 1970, it combines an extensive program of plenary sessions, workshops, posters and social events with WineTech, the industry’s most respected and extensive trade exhibition. Website: www.awitc.com.au