What are the Born Digital Wine Awards?

The Born Digital Wine Awards reward great content which is first published on the web and not in print to highlight the wealth of wine content being created online by writers everywhere. We are currently working on the BDWA Awards 2013 process and will announce details in January 2013 on this site.
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We all love a story about unearthing a previously little-known talent, bringing their best work to a wider audience and maybe giving them “a big break”. We especially love it in wine.

We all know stories about innovative importers who have done this, finding new wine producers with great wines, but this is also very much the mission of the BDWA too.

The Born Digital Wine Awards is the only digital program supporting both recognized and emerging wine content creators, producing a wide range of digital content, but doing so regardless of language or geographical location. These individuals are passionate, creative, innovative but often unrecognized for their work, and the Born Digital Wine Awards is a way for their voices to be heard and amplified around the world.

It is not easy to find a sponsor that has the same vision we do – companies that value a global perspective, are as mad about wine as we are, but are also digitally focused, so we are proud to announce a partnership with Laithwaites Wine and Virgin Wines.

Laithwaites is a family business, started by Tony Laithwaite in 1969, and remains a family affair today, despite its phenomenal growth. The Laithwaites story has always been one of discovering (and buying direct from) small producers, and bringing their wines to a new audience. This is no small feat when you realise that Laithwaites offers a vast selection of wines from 22 countries, including Hungary, Croatia, Moldova, and in the near future, Turkey! Not only this, but they sell their wines to an amazing diversity of consumers in the UK, USA, Australia, Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and Poland. Their unique appeal to consumers is the stories and long-held relationships behind their wines which are passed on to customers to entertain and enhance the enjoyment of wine overall.

Virgin Wines has been a pioneer in the online wine retail sphere, combining a fun, approachable communication style, the reach of the web plus the expertise of trained advisers. This commitment made them one of the leading and longest standing specialist wine retail brands on the web and today they are still growing fast and expanding to operate not just in the UK, but also the USA and Australia.

Both companies are veterans of the “direct” retail experience both online and off and really understand the value of quality communication with the enthusiastic wine consumer, and as such are very keen to promote talented wine communicators from all around the world of wine.

With this support, we hope the BDWA will make the world of wine online in 2012 even more varied, even more exciting and even more deliciously satisfying. I’m sure we can all raise a glass to that!

We encourage you to take a moment to check out both Laithwaites Wine and Virgin Wines in the New Year and see if maybe they can get the creative wine juices flowing.



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As we have promised in the past, the 2011 Born Digital Wine Awards will be adding 2 further categories to broaden the scope of the awards and highlight more effectively the best in wine content online.

We have brainstormed our own ideas, and there are a few we feel are most relevant, but the people who we should ideally be getting input from, is you. Thus, we are now opening the floor to your suggestions.

Leave a comment below and “vote” for your favorite suggestions with the “like” button on each comment. We’ll take all suggestions into account as we decide the new categories.

The deadline for suggestions, comments and ‘votes’ is June 20th, and the new Categories will be announced by June 30th.


The Born Digital Team!

Today, the much anticipated results of the Born Digital Wine Awards 2010 are unveiled. The inaugural awards proved an instant success, with an enthusiastic number of entries (in excess of 200), coming from 16 different countries across the world. The aim of the awards is to give value to writers 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 of leading figures both in wine journalism and general publishing, renowned here in the UK and internationally:

  • Jancis Robinson MW
  • Evan Schnittman
  • Elin McCoy
  • Patrick Schmitt
  • Robert Joseph
  • Hervé Lalau

Here’s what some of the judges said…

“I enjoyed reading through the entries and found the submissions both entertaining and educational, particularly those from the winery and investigative categories. Without the constraints of print, particularly strict word counts and savage sub-editors, the internet provides a free rein for full and opinionated analysis of current topics. It was interesting however that the best entries tended to be from those with a background in traditional media. ”


“It was a true pleasure to judge the first vintage of the Born Digital Wine Awards! I was impressed by both the high quality (of writing) and the lively diversity (of topics and voices), especially in the Editorial and Investigative categories. Those really showed the strength and importance of online wine writing. I found entries from Wineries, on Tourism, and the Videos much more mixed, with some entries far exceeding my expectations; others falling short, but showing potential. In the future, I’d like to see blogs from more wineries show up in the list, more surprising and compelling wine tourism stories, and better production values in the videos. That being said, there were a few stunners among them all.”


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 2010 are:

Best Wine Tourism Feature

  1. Wink Lorch Wine Days Out in the French Alps
  2. Tom Fiorina Corsican Wines and Corsica, a twenty-year journey of discovery
  3. Joe Roberts Endangered Species: Santorini Wine Fights for Its Survival

Best Editorial Wine Writing

  1. Tim Atkin Towards a New Chile (Part 1)
  2. Blake Gray The 10 Most Overrated Wines
  3. Jamie Goode Wine Tasting: Subjective or Objective

Best Winery Self-Produced Content

  1. Randall Grahm On a Mission: The Germ of an Idea***
  2. Bernhard Fiedler Alkohol-Zunahmi
  3. Brian Overstreet Hubris – It’s Not Just for Icarus Anymore

Best Investigative Wine Piece

  1. Richard Ross Phylloxera– the English connection
  2. Blake Gray : Sustainable Wines and Whole Foods Market
  3. Alder Yarrow The Coming Carnage in the California Wine Industry

Best Wine Themed Video

  1. Jay Selman (Directed by Mark Ryan) The Scent of Black
  2. The Quoff Boys Palm Trees & 100 Year Old Port
  3. Adrian Franklin Opening a Bottle of Port with a Feather

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

Entries for the 2011 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 2011 BDWA Awards the content must have been published during 2011; the maximum for written pieces is 3,000 words and for videos, 10 minutes.

***The article was changed to its current, correct, version.