Sandra Przibilla named Legend of the Vine

Sandra Przibilla was announced as NSW Legend of the Vine at the 2021 Sydney Royal Wine Show Trophy Winners Lunch this week.

Przibilla was honoured for her years of contribution to the Australian wine industry, which she has contributed to as a retailer, wholesaler, leader and pioneer of diversity and inclusion. Her varied career has included serving as General Manager of the iconic Peter Doyle Cellars, Managing Director of NILWA, CEO of Drinks Association, and Chair of the Women in Drinks Council.

The drinks industry icon said that she was “honoured and humbled” by the recognition.

WCA Executive Officer Andrew Stark said: “It gives us great pleasure to present this honour to Sandra. Her long career as an industry leader has seen her help many wine businesses tell their stories more effectively, as well as making the industry a more welcoming one for female professionals.”

Przibilla is the ninth person to be awarded Legend of the Vine status in NSW, and joins a prestigious national list that includes Lyndey Milan, Huon Hooke, Clive Hartley, Iain Riggs, Rob Hirst and David Lowe.

Drinks Digest editor Alana House was fortunate to work alongside Przibilla at The Drinks Association in the lead up to her retirement.

“Sandra was an inspiring and supportive leader,” she said. “I was uplifted by the energy and passion she brought to her role every day. Her determination to drive better outcomes for the drinks industry and the people working in it was exhilarating. I can’t think of a more deserving Legend of the Vine for 2021. Congratulations to her on the prestigious award.”

Drinks industry raises a glass to Przibilla

When Przibilla retired, Chair Ralph Dunning noted in his farewell speech: “How do you do justice to such a long and substantial contribution – both to the association and to the industry as a whole?”

Dunning noted that under Przibilla’s leadership the Association had grown from seven to 28 member companies, with services building from five to 11, plus seven new forums and council.

“All these aspects, services and contributions to industry have been fiercely prosecuted by Sandra – yes, agreed strategies with the board – but driven relentlessly by Sandra,” Dunning said. 

“I know Sandra would like me to acknowledge the teams of people she has had around her to assist in the delivery of these achievements. But her leadership and rather staggering amount of industry advice and mentoring undertaken over the years will be an enduring hallmark of her time at the association.”

On a more personal note, Dunning told Przibilla how much he had enjoyed working with her. 

“I have loved your commitment and have found your drive for success infectious. I’ve loved our catch ups and the great fun you have brought to our meetings. I value our friendship very much and hope that the next stage of your life brings all that you wish for.

“I know I speak for those in the room by saying that your contribution, both industry wise and personally, has been immense and that you will be sorely missed by all.”

Watch Sandra’s Legend of the Vine speech below:

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