Emerging Talent in Wine Communication 2024 shortlist

Wine news

Tue 13 Feb 2024

By Mila Gorchakova

The IWSC Emerging Talent in Wine Communication, sponsored by  Consorzio di Tutela del Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG, is one of our most popular categories. Every year we receive many entries from talented communicators who use innovative and creative ways to share their knowledge and passion for wine.

This year was no exception with nearly 40 strong applications from across the world. The judges were impressed with the level of this year’s entries admiring how much these emerging communicators have achieved in a relatively short time.

At the judging table, we had the IWSC Judging Committee member Master of Wine Sarah Abbott, our 2023 Emerging Talent in Wine Communication winner and IWSC judge Luma Monteiro, our 2022 winner and IWSC judge Sophia Longhi, Digital Editor of Club Oenologique Will Morris and Giorgia Dotto representing our sponsor, Prosecco Superiore DOCG.

The shortlist for the IWSC Emerging Talent in Wine Communication award is:


Cassandra Charlick

Australian-based freelance wine, travel & food writer, journalist and presenter, Cassandra is an exciting fresh voice in the industry, said our judges. Our panel spoke highly of Cassandra’s achievements – working as a Western Australian correspondent for Decanter Magazine, as well as writing for many other publications and hosting wine education pieces on one of the Australian TV channels. “Cassandra bridges the gap between the traditional wine world and the emerging one, her articles and videos are brilliant and very engaging,” said our judges.

The panel appreciated Cassandra’s commitment to promoting sustainability and educating consumers about what’s on the label. In addition to publishing articles on sustainability, she is now working on a book proposal on “mindful wine – how to drink sustainably and creatively”. Cassandra is also exploring the possibility of instigating the first alternative wine packaging line in Western Australia. “Cassandra is a very knowledgeable communicator, but what I like about her is that she’s got this rebellious spirit,” said one of the judges. “She is driven and determined to make a difference”.  


Samantha Cole-Johnson

Samantha, who was also shortlisted for this award last year, impressed our judges with the progress she’s made since her previous application. “While Samantha is an excellent writer, it is great to see that she has started to explore the visual platforms, diversifying her channels and reaching out to a wider audience,” said the judges.

Based in the US, Samantha is a Senior Editor US for JancisRobinson.com, as well as writing for numerous other consumer and trade publications and working as a Wine Educator for WSET. Exploring the best ways to interact with the wine consumers, last year she launched ‘Wine News in 5’ on Instagram – short and informative videos on the recent happenings in the industry. “With Samantha, I get a sense of a confident, authorial voice. She works hard, she adopts her approach, but I also love that she focuses on longer-form content – it is so important not to lose this culture in wine,” said one of the judges.


Jenni Davis

“Jenni is the embodiment of ‘if you can dream it, do it!’,” said our judges, impressed with Jenni’s holistic approach to wine communication and her many initiatives. In addition to creating highly engaging social media content, Jenni has been running her own small vineyard in England, using it as a tool to educate her audience on how much work and craftsmanship goes into making wine. This March, Jenni is planning to organise a pruning day with wine communicators so they can take part in vineyard work and communicate this experience to their respective communities.

“She’s across everything and when you are looking at what she’s done – the list is very impressive,” said the judges. Jenni has recently completed her WSET diploma, as well as founding her own online wine shop, Grape Nights, focusing on organic and sustainable wine tasting packages. “Jenni has great entrepreneurial ideas, and she also has the technical knowledge of vineyards. She’s an incredible writer, but also very scientific,” the judges shared.


Sedale McCall

“In just over 2 years in wine Sedale became very accomplished. He is an exciting voice, he has something new to say – something very different and exciting,” said our judges. Sedale is a US-based freelance writer, working with numerous media - VinePair, JancisRobinson.com, Men’s Journal, The Grape Grind and others. Sedale’s content is focused on emerging regions, diversity & inclusion and wine education. The judges were impressed with the “untold wine stories” Sedale has written and published, such as the impact of slavery on Virginia wine.

“Taking these historical issues and tying them to the present of the wine industry is very unique. Sedale is a great writer, very topical. He seems very authentic and very data-driven,” said our judges. The panel also appreciated the diversity of channels Sedale uses for his communications – social media, wine publications and streaming services, such as SOMM TV. His hard work and dedication has led to him recently winning several communicator awards. “He is being recognised by different facets of the industry. And he is really trying to find different angles, so he is a very exciting voice,” said the judges. 


Sevgi Tuzel-Conghaile  

Sevgi, who is an Oenologist & Viticulturist, has worked as a winemaker, wine scholar, wine educator and wine consultant. Sevgi is the founder of A WINE IDEA - a Dublin-based business that specialises in wine tasting events and wine education. Sevgi’s passion for wine began while she was studying Food Engineering in one of the wine-producing regions of her native Turkey. Following her graduation, she started to work as a winemaker in her home country. Sevgi obtained her MSc in Oenology & Viticulture from one of the most prestigious universities in the world in the field of wine, Montpellier SupAgro and Bordeaux Sciences Agro in France and Hochschule Geisenheim University in Germany.

Our judges admired the breadth of what Sevgi does. “She has got a great presence on social media, she makes it very fun, but there’s the knowledge and the credibility behind it. That’s really valuable,” said the judges. The panel appreciated that Sevgi also works as a wine educator, as well as supporting women in the industry as co-director of Wine Spirit Women. “The ideas of her wine tasting events are brilliant, and I admire how her output is backed up by serious training and education,” said one of the judges. “I think she is the definition of emerging, she’s really come up this year.”

Congratulations to the shortlisted entrants. The winner of the IWSC Emerging Talent in Wine Communication award 2024 will be announced on 20 February.