Rotterdam, 10 January 2024
First nomination for the title of Wine Woman of the Year 2024 goes to Hinke de Jong
Launch of the 6th Wine Woman of the Year election at Horecava
The Wine Woman of the Year 2024 election has started. On Wednesday 10 January, the jury of Wine Woman of the Year announced Hinke de Jong as the first candidate for this year’s title. Her candidature was revealed during the industry conference for hotels, bars and restaurants, Horecava at RAI Amsterdam. Each year, the Wine Woman of the Year Foundation uses this election to put women in wine in the Netherlands in the spotlight. All nominated candidates make a notable contribution to the wine world. According to the jury, which consists of former winners and experts from the wine industry, those nominated for this title make the Dutch wine world a little more beautiful. These hard-working women are an example for other women who work in the wine industry. Other candidates for the title will be announced in the coming months.
Hinke de Jong has a remarkable track record. Her love for wine, and champagne in particular, is expressed in her two businesses, Brouzje
and Champagne Travel. After her first visit to the Champagne region, she was sold. She not only became a fan – she decided to make it her career. As the jury report reads: “The jury considers Hinke a worthy candidate due to her years of effort for the Champagne product. She is an inspiring and knowledgeable woman who is always able to eloquently convey her love for champagne. In addition, through the sommelier trips to Champagne which she organizes, she shares her expertise with a younger generation of sommeliers.”
About Hinke de Jong
Hinke bubbles with energy and passion for exclusive Champagne. Her love for the drink and the area arose after a visit to the region. In the years that followed, she built her knowledge, regularly tasting and traveling to the magical French region. Alongside her job in business services, she founded Brouzje in 2011 and started importing special and high-quality champagne which she selected herself. The company’s name has a link with its Frisian roots: it’s related to the word ‘brûzje’, which means vibrant, lively and energetic. A perfectly fit for both the drink and Hinke herself. She quickly established a good name and started supplying champagne to renowned restaurants and fulfilled special assignments. In 2016, she was named Champagne Ambassador of the Netherlands, boosting her notoriety. Since then, she has supplied high-quality champagne to restaurants from Groningen to Maastricht. In addition to importing the product, she started offering trips to the Champagne region. Through her company Champagne Travel, she curates tailor-made trips for her customers from all over the world.
Hinke: “My first visit to the Champagne region was in 2007. This sparked my interest in champagne. I started organizing tastings at home as a side hustle. I mainly used champagne from smaller producers, which were not so familiar in the Netherlands at the time. The group of enthusiasts grew quickly. This gave me so much energy and pleasure that I decided to do something more. That’s how my first company Brouzje was founded in 2011, which I developed alongside my regular work. At first, I only imported champagne. Later I also started organizing trips to the region and founded Champagne Travel. I now supply high-quality champagne to (Michelin-star) restaurants, private individuals and companies. And I organize trips to the Champagne region for people and businesses, as well as study trips for sommeliers.”
Road to the final
The professional jury of Wine Woman of the Year 2024 consists of Kirsten Abels (winner of Wine Woman of the Year 2023), Tatjana Puklavec (winner of Wine Woman of the Year 2022), Claudia van Dongen (winner of Wine Woman of the Year 2021), Magda van der Rijst (winner of Wine Woman of the Year 2020) and Barbara Verbeek (viticulturalist and wine expert). The final takes place during Gastvrij Rotterdam in Ahoy on 23 September 2024. It’s not just a jury of wine professionals who determines the winner. After the last nominee is announced, the public can vote at Wine Woman of the Year
Wine Woman of the Year
The wine world is changing. In recent years we have seen an increase in powerful, energetic and driven women who have a special commitment to the wine world. They make the wine world even more beautiful with their effort, passion and expertise. According to initiators Barbara Verbeek (Wijntheater) and Clarissa Slingerland (MissPublicity), women in the Dutch wine industry are unique. These women are hardworking, inspiring, creative and colorful, and offer encouragement to other women. It is high time to put these wine women in the spotlight. In 2019, Clarissa and Barbara founded the Wine Woman of the Year Foundation. Since then, five women have now been named Wine Woman of the Year. Core values for the award include accessibility, connection, professionalism, knowledge and ambition. A number of sponsors are now involved in the award, including Walraven Sax, Gastvrij Rotterdam, Royal Leerdam and Bru water.