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At the close of the European Wine Bloggers Conference (EWBC) in Vienna Robert McIntosch from and Ryan and Gabriella Opaz from introduced us to the Born Digital Wine Awards (BDWA), a kind of Pulitzer Prizes for online wine communicators.

On the BDWA website the organisers describe the awards as following: “The Born Digital Wine Awards are an attempt to give value to the new wave of online wine journalism. Each year, the best examples of electronic publishing, including videos, will be reviewed by a panel of top industry professionals from within and without the wine industry.”

Just like the Pulitzer Prizes aims to honour excellence in the journalism and art world, the BDWA is looking for excellence in online and digital wine journalism. It is a proper award in the sense that there are real prizes involved – the winner of each category will be taking home a €1,000 – and that the prizes will be awarded by some real heavy weights in the wine, journalism and publishing world. The latter in my eyes is an even bigger and more prestigious acknowledgement as it will be an honour to be recognized by Jancis Robinson, Elin McCoy, Evan Schnittman, Hervé Lalau, Patrick Schmitt and Robert Joseph.

The fact that these busy and highly recognized judges are willing to make time to review and evaluate our online wine content surely means that our message is gaining importance in the wine and online journalism world. One of the categories is content created by wineries so if you as a winery have invested in outstanding online content or marketing material do consider to enter. Entry forms and submission details can be found on the submission page of the BDWA website.

Entry categories are the following:

  • 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)
  • Best Editorial Wine Writing
    Outstanding examples of wine writing, giving prime consideration to literary quality and originality
  • Best Wine Tourism Feature
    Speaking about a particular region as a tourist destination with a focus on wine (written text, video, photo)
  • Best Wine Themed Video
    Video content that either educates, demonstrates or builds awareness for wine (video)
  • Best Winery Self Produced Content
    Outstanding examples of content created by wineries to promote their brand and reach out to key audiences
  • The judging will be in English – however it is important to note that content can be submitted in any language and a professional translation service is being offered.


    On Monday I met with my friend Andre Ribeirinho from and we had a good conversation about the AVIN. Up till then I had only heard very little about this project, but the more I talked to Andre, the more intrigued I became. I would like to share with you why I believe every winery should sign up and implement the AVIN code for all its wines.

    But first of all let me elaborate a little on the AVIN. AVIN stands for All Vin Identification Number – it was created as a project by the social tasting note site as their unique identifier which they use as master data for mapping purposes. They then realised that everyone could benefit from a system which easily identifies any wine in the world and a separate company was set up. Today the AVIN is a unique 13 digit number which is used to track wines in the same way the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) has been used for books since the 60’s. It’s formatted in the same way and looks like AVIN6452997073019.

    The benefit of the AVIN is similar to the benefit of the ISBN – i.e. it is a UNIQUE identifier for a specific wine. By this I mean that if a winery or a distributor registers their wines and add the AVIN to their tasting notes and on the label all this info can and will be collated. Furthermore, bloggers, writers and wine reviewers can add the AVIN to their review or article, and again this info will be collated back to the correct wine, which means that if a consumer enters an AVIN in Google, or any other search engine, he will get all this information back.

    An added benefit of the AVIN is that a QR code is created for every AVIN, and with the rise in popularity of Mobile Tagging this means that the information linked to the AVIN is very easily retrievable by any customer.

    In summary, this is why I believe every winery should be signing up for AVIN codes.

  • It’s free.
  • The winery is in control of the information entered about their wines.
  • By actively using the AVIN as part of your wine marketing strategy, and integrating it on the tasting notes, or on your website when you have received an accolade for a particular wine, and adding the QR code on your label, the chances are high that you directly can influence or inform your customer
  • More than 30,000,000 labels have been printed to date with an AVIN on, and about 24,000 wines have been registered for the AVIN. Whilst this is just a small number compared to all the wines in the world, as always it is better to be on board earlier rather than later as its easier to influence in a less crowded space
  • Google is investing heavily in mobile tagging technology and it is highly possible that implementing the AVIN can improve your SEO ranking
  • More and more wine bloggers are using the AVIN, and I have heard through the grapevine that Jancis Robinson would like to start using AVIN for her Purple Pages wine reviews:-)
  • I have also heard that International Wine Competitions would like to start using the AVIN as well
  • With the increase of digital wine lists on i-Pad , the AVIN can really add value as it once again allows you to directly communicate with your customer
  • And lastly the AVIN is cool! Wine bottles with the AVIN QR code printed on the bottle draw attention as they are a novelty, and people want to use the QR scanner on their phone as it’s a cool thing to do!
  • I hope that these points have convinced you that the AVIN is here to stay and that it would be a great thing to sign up for the codes and actively promote it’s usage sooner rather than later! If I have convinced you please visit the AVIN website to register and sign up for the codes:-)

    The board of AVIN advisors consists of André Cid Proença, Andre Ribeirinho and Emidio Santos – all 3 founders of and
    Gabriella and Ryan Opaz – founders of and the European Wine Bloggers Conference (EWBC).

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