There has been a lot of history in this neighbourhood and attention must be paid.

The champagne corks are popping a-plenty at CELLARDOORS.CO [*hic*] on our launch day. Our undertaking is connecting wine tourists with all winemakers, and while it’s a big gig, it’s not a hardship.

That said … attention must be paid.

CELLARDOORS.CO is the brainchild and the everyday toil and passion of our CEO and founder, Judith Kennedy AM. Such is the potential and importance of this project to Judith, she made the mammoth decision to retire from her role as CEO of The Association of Australian Boutique Winemakers Inc (AABW) and the Boutique Wine Show after 22 years to concentrate on it.

It’s been quite the journey to get to this point …

In 1996, retired film producer Judith Kennedy entered the wine industry with the plan to establish a platform for the ‘small winemakers’. “Their production may be minuscule compared with the major wine players, but their contribution to the industry is gigantic on many levels,” she said. “I thought it was important they be able to enter wine shows so they could receive their due recognition – and so the AABW and the Boutique Wine Show were born.”

The Association of Australian Boutique Winemakers Inc (AABW) was founded and the Boutique Wine Show was popular from the first year. It became apparent that the boutique winemakers welcomed the opportunity to enter their own show; be judged by top professionals; and have the chance to win trophies and medals for their efforts.

Huon Hooke, Gary Baldwin and Peter Bourne formed the first judging panel, and Hooke and Baldwin have stayed with the show, without break, for the duration.

Over 22 years, Judith has been involved in 90 wine festivals, degustation dinners, lunches and master classes in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

During that time, she spent six years on the board of the Oncology Children’s Foundation where she worked tirelessly with researchers at the University of New South Wales.

In January 2017, Judith was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for Services to the wine industry and to children’s health.

She said, “I retire from the management of the wine show with a great sense of pride in all we have achieved, and I relish my new role as show patron. I am also looking forward to turning CELLARDOORS.CO into the success it is begging to be, without the day to day demands required for running a major show.”