Each category will be judged separately, and nominations will be vetted before judging to ensure they are relevant. The intention is to showcase the very best in wine content online, and rewarding those who invest their time to create this content. This is not just a pat on the shoulder, it is an incentive to keep up the good work!

A prize of 1,000 euros will be awarded to the first place winners,  as well as a free pass to the 2012 European Wine Bloggers Conference and a 1 year membership to Jancis Robinson’s Purple Pages and the Circle of Wine Writers.

The 2nd and 3rd place winners in each category will also be awarded prizes:

  • 2nd Place = Kindle Wi-Fi, 6″ E Ink Display
  • 3rd Place = 50 euro Gift Certificate to Amazon

If you are interested in sponsoring one of the categories or the awards process, please contact us for more details.

Best Investigative Wine Story

For a distinguished example of investigative reporting by an individual or team, presented as a single wine article or series (video, written text)

  • 3000 words or less, or if video 10 minutes or less
  • Must explore a single subject dealing with some aspect of the wine industry
  • Must include references to sources
  • Must try to be fair reporting striving for accuracy, fairness, and disclosure of all essential facts without bias
  • Value will be given to the BDWA “Quality Criteria” with an emphasis on Research

In summary: This category is to demonstrate that writers can use the online medium to explore interesting developments in the wine business to expand readers’ knowledge of the world of wine, the activities of companies and individuals, and the developments occurring around the world. “Investigative” pieces need to go beyond merely restating known facts in order to spread wine education, but research new information and go beyond textbooks and press releases to understand what is really happening. It will often take the form of “objective reporting” and may be technical information, business analysis, people profiles or trend analysis. This should be about a combination of primary research, analysis and original thinking.

Best Editorial Wine Writing

For outstanding examples of wine writing, giving prime consideration to literary quality and originality (written text)

  • 3000 words or less
  • Exploring any aspect of the wine industry from a personal point of view
  • May include personal opinions
  • Value will be given to the BDWA “Quality Criteria” with an emphasis on Clarity of Message and Originality

In summary: This is probably the broadest category, covering any written piece about wine that expresses the writer’s point of view (or at least does not require objective reporting). The goal is to highlight the more original, entertaining, thought-provoking, and generally interesting writing. This often takes the form of blog posts, but could also include other forms (such as poetry, haiku, etc.), and should help to make sense of the wide world of wine, and give new ways to inform and entertain wine consumers everywhere.

Best Wine Tourism Feature

Speaking about a particular region as a tourist destination with a focus on wine (written text, video)

  • 3000 words or less, or 10 minutes or less if video
  • Exploring any aspect of wine tourism
  • May include personal opinions
  • Value will be given to the BDWA “Quality Criteria” with an emphasis on the Quality of Presentation

In summary: The entries in this category will not be judged so much on the format, but on their ability to communicate in an original, engaging and entertaining way about a wine location, thus hopefully motivating an audience to visit this location in future. Generally speaking this will be about the quality of the message, the presentation of materials to bring the location to life via the web, and the use of the potential multi-media opportunities of the web. Judges will also be looking for the best ways to bring together stories about travel, history, culture and geography with a wine theme, not just focusing on wine alone.

Best Wine Themed Video

Video content that educates, demonstrates, entertains or builds awareness for wine (video)

  • 10 minutes or less
  • Exploring any aspect of the wine industry in video format
  • May include personal opinions
  • Value will be given to the BDWA “Quality Criteria” with an emphasis on the Quality of Presentation

In summary: Video is a creative medium. It is not enough just to create content using moving images, but to use the potential of video to bring a wine story to life in a new way. This category aims to highlight the best use of video to deliver a message or story about wine, whether this is technical information and education, or entertainment and opinion. The category is very broad, covering everything from documentary formats, to interactive experiences, animation, comedy, drama or simply video recordings of an event, however the judges will give most value to entries that present wine related stories in an original way and where the quality of the presentation, and therefore the clarity of the message, is high and there is a unique benefit to using video to deliver this particular message or story.

Best Winery Self Produced Content

For outstanding examples of content created by wineries to promote their brand and reach out to key audiences (written text, video)

  • 3000 words or less, or 10 minutes or less if Video
  • Exploring any aspect of the wine industry
  • May include personal opinions
  • Value will be given to the BDWA “Quality Criteria” with an emphasis on Originality

In summary: The web is a great tool for wineries that want to take control of their message and no longer require intermediaries (like journalists, consumer advocates or PR professionals) to tell their story and build a relationship with consumers. This category is about the many ways wineries are doing this all over the world, using the online medium creatively to find new ways of rewarding customers and differentiating their wines. Originality is the key here, because wineries have relied upon, or been forced to use, the same messages for too long (points, wine-making methodology, simplistic food matching, etc.). Wineries are as unique as the individuals who run them and work for them, and the messages they create should be so too.

Best Wine Photo Essay *** NEW CATEGORY ***

For an outstanding example of the use of photography to tell a story about wine (Photo + Text)

  • 3-5 photos, linked by a common story in the eyes and mind of the photographer
  • Exploring any aspect of wine – production, consumption, culture or business
  • Value will be given to the artistic value and engaging story linking the images rather than solely on the quality of the images

In summary: If a photo is truly worth a thousand words, then creating a small collection of photos can tell an amazing story. This category is for all levels of photographic skill, because although the quality & composition of the image is important, judges will also be looking for the best use of still images to tell a moving story about wine. Many wine sites use images, but how many go beyond the simple representation of the objects to make a point? This is about a series of images working together, so there need to be a minimum of three photos, related in some way, though not necessarily taken together.


* There is one proviso, because of Circle rules on membership, where wineries cannot be members, this does not apply to the Best Winery Self Produced Content category winner.

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