Today, the much anticipated results of the Born Digital Wine Awards 2012 are unveiled. The inaugural awards proved an instant success, with an enthusiastic number of entries (in excess of 300), coming from 24 different countries across the world. The aim of the awards is to give value to writers, photographers and videographers who are successful at creating wine content online – it must be “born digital” to qualify – ie be published first online.

The panel of judges comprises leading figures both in wine journalism and general publishing from around the world:

  • Ulf Sjödin
  • Tim Atkin
  • Elin McCoy
  • Patrick Schmitt
  • Fongyee Walker
  • Hervé Lalau
  • Richard Ross
  • Wink Lorch

“Blogs are now an essential part of wine information, and to find one’s way in the jungle of wine blogs, a competition like BDWA, with peers as judges, is incredibly useful” comments Herve Lalau, a judge at this years Born Digital Wine Awards.

The judges had a tough job indeed and it was a very close call….but without further ado…..

The winners of the Born Digital Wine Awards 2012 are:

Best Editorial Wine Writing

  1. Andrea Frost (The New Ruby Press): The Invention of Wine
  2. Paul Keers (Sediment): Just Looking: The Joy of Wine Browsing
  3. Amy Corron Power (Another Wine Blog): Wine Intelligence admits Bias, Ulterior Motives in “Wine Blogger Distrust” Release

Best Investigative Wine Story

  1. Jim Budd (Jim’s Loire): Campogate, no Pay no Jay
  2. Evan Dawson (Submitted Piece to Palate Press): Message from California Winemakers: Stop Slandering Our Pinot!
  3. Chris Kissack (Wine Doctor): Pressure Sensitive

Best Wine Tourism Feature

  1. Nick Stock (Post Ferment): Preserving Home Turf: A very special part of the world
  2. Louise Hurren (Submitted Piece to Wine Travel Guides): Authentic wines and hearty cooking in Bucelas outside Lisbon
  3. Tom Florina (The Vine Route): Contextual pleasures: NYC chic meets Corsican mystique

Best Winery Self Produced Content

  1. Ryan O’Connell (O’Vineyards): Who Visits Vineyards
  2. Gavin Quinney (Bauduc Blog): 13 Unpalatable Facts about the UK Wine Duty
  3. Kerith Overstreet (Brulium Wine Blog): Insufferable

Best Wine Themed Video

  1. Giorgia Guarienti (Off Road Strade Creative): Wine: Got to Deserve It
  2. Richard Hemming (Purple Pages): An MW student’s guide to remembering appellations
  3. Ophélie Neiman (Miss Glou Glou): Au coeur du bouchon de liège

Best Wine Photo Essay

Click any image to see it large, and use your arrow keys to navigate through the photos in each set.

1. Matt Wilson ( Small Wine Producers in the Maule Valley Chile

[nggallery id=5]

These are a series of photographs I made during three visits to a group of small wine producers in the Maule Valley in Chile. They own one or two acres of old carignan, pais grancahe and mouvdre vines. They use horses and old farming methods. The wine is fermented and stored in ceramic jars called “tinajas” The vines are up to 100 years old and they have been grafting some of them.

2. Mick Rock (Cephas): A biodynamic day at Dr Bürklin Wolf

[nggallery id=6]

Some of the many tasks being undertaken on a day in late May at Dr. Bürklin Wolf, who are based at Wachenheim an der Weinstrasse in the Pfalz region of Germany. In 2005 the decision was made to convert all their vineyards to biodynamic viticulture. Today this is being done under the guidance of consultant Monty Waldin.

3. Giacomo Tincani (La Basia): Tie (Legare)

[nggallery id=2]

This photo essay shows the binding of vine-shoots, traditionally done with willow branches. After pruning, when the tiny buds of this year’s growth have just appeared, vine-shoots are gently bent along the wires and tied with a flexible willow branch in one quick movement.
Photographs were shot in late winter in the vineyards of La Basia, a small winery in the Lake Garda region (Italy). The photos show a patient, careful manual method, passed down from father to son over many generations. The work, and thus the images, depict a quiet and meditative relationship between man and environment.
These photos are part of a larger ongoing project to document the various unique stages in the seasonal cycle of a family winery, where traditional techniques coexist alongside modern technology. Rather than a nostalgic vision of past times, they are intimate moments of a dynamic juxtaposition: a tie between old traditions and today’s practices.

The winner of each category receives 1,000 Euros, and a Circle of Wine Writers and Jancis Robinson Purple Page membership, and a pass to the 2011 European Wine Bloggers Conference.

Entries for the 2012 Born Digital Wine Awards should be submitted to from December 1, 2011 to January 31, 2012.

Editors’ notes:

The Born Digital Wine Awards (BDWA) are the brain-child of Vrazon, a company specialising in Social Media in the drinks industry and a fusion of Catavino (Ryan and Gabriella Opaz) and Thirstforwine (Robert McIntosh).

The Awards are international, with entries welcome from around the world and in any language. For the 2013 BDWA Awards the content must have been published during 2012; the maximum for written pieces is 3,000 words and for videos, 10 minutes.