PRESS RELEASE JAN 2023
BELLE AND BOTTLE WINE AWARDS ANNOUNCES EXPANSION FOR 2023
A New Year-Round Platform ‘Wine from a Female Perspective’
and Director of Education and Wine Awards
WOODINVILLE – After a successful inaugural wine competition in Spring of 2022, Belle & Bottle is announcing a new platform designed to expand the scope of their mission to ‘elevate the role of women in the wine industry and connect their immense talent to wine consumers.
“We were so impressed by the talent, education and hustle shown in the submissions for our judges last year that we wanted to expand this community to provide content for consumers year-round. The level of expertise on everyone’s resume was so inspiring we wanted to find ways to connect to consumers and share what these ladies are up to year-round,” said Laura Huston, founder of Belle & Bottle.
In fact, one judge lined up with their mission so well that she has joined the team. Shelly Fitzgerald of Woodinville, Washington has come on board as Director of Education and Wine Awards. Fitzgerald has 20 years in the industry and an impressive page full of wine credentials including WSET Diploma, Certified Sommelier, Certified Specialist of Wine, and Certified Cava Educator, just to name a few. She will be working with Huston to build this wine community for women, by women. Her focus will be to connect with wineries, wine associations and women in wine to share stories and wine education to our customers through our expanded platform.
Her contribution to the team can best be summed up by this recommendation from Hayley Hamilton Cogill, Wine Writer and Television Contributor, “Shelly is one of the most dedicated and knowledgeable wine professionals in the business. After years of continuing her education, she emerges with an in-depth understanding of all aspects of fine wine and wine education, bringing joy, enthusiasm, and sincerity to her classes, elevating her guest's experience. We constantly talk about passion in the wine industry, which is the driver for many of us to be a part of it. Shelly relays passion for wine with sincere honesty and genuine interest, which makes me excited to learn whatever she is teaching.”
In addition to the wine competition, they will be announcing Wine Travel Awards through a network of Ambassadors. While the focus of the wine competition is on individual wines evaluated from a female perspective, the travel awards will focus on the experiences at wineries and within top wine regions. The website and social media will be expanded to create a greater community for women in the wine industry as well as consumers. They will partner with professional women in wine to highlight tastings, travel and experiences. “This partnership with our Ambassadors will be a great boost for wine tourism as our expert female panel selects wineries that are doing great things in wine, hospitality and sustainability. It allows our platform to continue to speak to women about places they may want to travel and what types of experiences they can expect. This has always been a key component for Belle & Bottle and I’m excited to add this dimension to our awards program,” said Huston.
They are currently selecting Ambassadors who are experts in their regions of wine. If you would like to be considered for an ambassador, judge, or content contributor please submit a bio and what topic you would like to share. Although the focus is on the female perspective of wine, the platform will be for ALL wineries. If you are a winery or association that would like to support their mission and share about your organization, please email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The next wine competition and grand tasting are scheduled for Spring 2024.
About Belle & Bottle Wine Awards
This awards program was conceived of by Belle & Bottle founder Laura Huston. For more visit www.belleandbottleawards.com and www.belleandbottle.com