Raise a glass to our Best Wine Student

Karlee Cook smiles into the camera.

A University of Adelaide student has been named Best Wine Student in the country.

Karlee Cook, who is studying a Masters in Wine Business, received the accolade at the 2022 Wine Communicator Awards in Sydney.

“I am very grateful to have been awarded the Best Wine Student Award,” Ms Cook said.

“I work full time in human resources and study my Masters in the evenings, which can feel like a pressure cooker at times.

“However, it has been so rewarding and relieving to be recognised for the hard work I have put into my degree to date.”

It was during a COVID lockdown in 2020 when Ms Cook considered changing careers and started the Masters in Wine Business.

“My ultimate ambition is to run a small cellar door in the Adelaide Hills, but if it doesn’t work out, working in wine tourism and creating experiences for cellar doors would be amazing,” she said.

“I have had incredible experiences at cellar doors that encouraged me to move into this industry, and I want to create that feeling for people.

“I am over the moon to have achieved such high recognition for my work which has encouraged me to continue working at this trajectory in the remainder of my studies.”

Ms Cook won the award for her studies in wine tourism, in which she produced a theoretical wine tourism business plan for Ghost Rock Wines in Tasmania.

“I used the North West of Tasmania as my chosen geographic Location for all of my wine tourism assignments as I have always wanted to visit Tasmania, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to research what wineries were in that region,” Ms Cook said.

“Ghost Rock Wines appealed to me primarily due to the amazing bottle art.

“Ghost Rock Wine’s logo with the bare tree was simple, but appealing, especially when placed on top of an eerie background.

“I am also very into Pet Nat wines, and their Supernatural Range is something that I had been interested in trying for a while.

“The wines sound different, yet delicious. They also offer many different varieties, which helped when creating my wine business plan.”

The Best Wine Student award acknowledges an individuals’ high achievement in their studies, demonstrating exceptional research skills, a thorough understanding of their wine topic, as well as an ability to communicate their findings in an outstanding piece of written work. 

The annual Wine Communicators of Australia awards recognise outstanding contribution to, and excellence in, wine communication in all its forms.

The University of Adelaide proudly sponsors the Best Wine Student award, and the Best Wine Educator award.

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