Amanda Barnes is an award-winning wine journalist and expert in South American wines and regions. Based in Mendoza, Argentina, since 2009 she is a regular correspondent, critic and writer for international wine and travel publications.
A multi-media journalist, Amanda works in print and digital communication and is experienced in writing, editing and video broadcasts. Her creative work has been awarded by Born Digital Wine Awards, Millesima Blog Awards, Great Wine Capitals Best Of and Young Wine Writer of the Year. She was also awarded a fellowship for the Wine Writers Symposium 2017, a scholarship for the Wine Bloggers Conference 2016 and the The Peter Hampson Memorial Prize for her outstanding results in the WSET Diploma.
Amanda has led masterclasses and hosted tastings internationally that range from wine dinners for private collectors through to a series of masterclasses at VINEXPO, Bordeaux. Amanda has been a critic and panel taster for international wine competitions in England, South Africa, Austria, Chile and Argentina, and is a taster for the Decanter World Wine Awards and International Wine and Spirits Challenge.
Awards & Scholarships:
The Peter Hampson Memorial Prize 2018: WSET Diploma
Amanda was awarded this prestigious scholarship for her outstanding results in the WSET Diploma. The prize was a grant to study a wine region of Amanda’s choice.
Millesima Awards 2018:
Amanda was selected by a jury as a finalist in all the wine blog categories in 2018 – for the first time in the history of the awards. Her articles written for Around the World in 80 Harvests were shortlisted for the Wine Reporter Award, Wine and Travel Writer Award and Wine and Food Writer Award – which she went on to win.
Born Digital Wine Awards 2016, Winner. Best Tourism Content with a Focus on Wine.
Amanda won the award for best wine travel piece in the Born Digital Wine Awards 2016. You can see her entry from her 80 Harvests travels here, and watch a Born Digital video interview with her before the awards here. In 2017 she was invited to form part of the judging panel.
Millesima Awards: Finalist for Food & Wine writing 2017.
Amanda’s 80 Harvests blog on Argentine asado and wine pairings was selected as one of three finalists for this renowned food and drinks award in January 2017.
Fellowship Wine Writer Symposium 2017.
Awarded the prestigious fellowship for the Wine Writers Symposium in Napa Valley, which she attended in February 2017.
Wine Bloggers Conference 2016 Scholar.
Amanda was awarded the Rodney Strong Scholarship to attend the Wine Bloggers Conference in August 2016. Each year Rodney Strong selects one up-and-coming blogger that display quality, quantity, consistency, and a community spirit in their work to receive this scholarship. Read more about the scholarship fund here.
Great Wine Capitals Blogger of the Year 2014 & 2015, Runner up.
Amanda was runner up for the Great Wine Capitals Blogger of the Year competition in 2014 & 2015. In 2016 she was selected as the official blogger for Mendoza online.
Young Wine Writer of the Year Award 2012 & 2013, Runner up.
Amanda was shortlisted for this annual award based in the UK in November 2012 and 2013 and was announced as Runner Up for the Award at both awards ceremonies. She’s now too old to apply.
Mendoza Winner Great Wine Capitals: Wine Republic Magazine 2014
Wine Republic magazine won the Great Wine Capitals Mendoza award in 2014 for its contribution to communication on wine tourism during Amanda’s editorship.
Member of Circle of Wine Writers
Invited and selected as a member of the UK’s wine writing circle. Has been a member since October 2012. Amanda is currently Editor of the monthly Circle publication.
Work & Projects
Editor & Creator, Around the World in 80 Harvests: November 2015 – present
A global wine and travel documentary visiting 80 wine regions around the world and exploring the people, places and culture through blogs, videos and photography. Visiting a great range of wine regions from the well renowned to those that are off-the-beaten-track.www.80harvests.com
Editor & Creator, The Squeeze Magazine & Winery Guide: January 2014 – present
The first online magazine for wine & travel in Chile, Argentina, Brazil & Uruguay. Articles on the wine regions, travel destinations and wines of both countries, videos and a wine & winery guide. www.thesqueezemagazine.com
Freelance Writer: May 2006 – present
Amanda writes for numerous international publications in the travel and wine sector. Recent collaborations include:
–Decanter Freelance writer for prestigious UK-based wine magazine and website. Writes print features and web articles, usually covering South America, although her work has included articles on wine regions in the USA, Mexico, Europe and in-depth features on climate change and travel. She has also broken news stories on decanter.com which have been republished worldwide.
– Professional taster. Amanda is an international wine taster and has been invited to be on the panel of the International Michelangelo Wine Awards in South Africa and Erste Lagen tasting in Austria among other tastings in the UK, US, Chile and Argentina.
– The Drinks Business Amanda writes freelance for this large industry publication, covering stories and features mainly in South America. Her features have included selecting and interviewing Top 10 Winemakers To Watch for Chile and Argentina.
–WinesofChile.org Between January 2013 and February 2017 Amanda was Editor of the website providing content and information about Chilean wine regions, wines and its characters in English as well as covering major events in the Chilean wine industry.
– Fodor’s Travel Guides Since 2011 Amanda has been writing about the wine regions (in both Chile & Argentina), Patagonia and the Atacama for this popular printed travel guide for both Argentina and Chile editions as well as the web-based version.
– Oz Clarke’s Pocket Wine Guide Amanda is responsible for keeping on top of Chilean wine trends and tasting for the updating of the Chile chapter of renowned British wine journalist Oz Clarke’s wine guide.
– Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book Amanda the South America correspondent (covering Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Brazil) for the prestigious wine expert Hugh Johnson’s annual wine guide.
– The Telegraph Amanda has written blogs and features for this daily UK newspaper about her experiences living in South America.
– The Somm Journal/Tasting Panel Amanda has written for this popular industry magazine in the US on wines and regions of Chile.
– Wine-Seacher.com Amanda was approached by this global wine search engine, which receives 1.5 million unique hits a month, to work as a freelance writer and South American correspondent for their new online magazine. She writes features on the wine industry and profile pieces on winemakers.
– 36hrs.in Travel itinerary writer and blog writer for travel website specialising in 36 hour travel recommendations and itineraries in South America.
– Time Out Amanda has freelanced for Time Out Buenos Aires writing an Insider’s Guide to Mendoza and its wine regions among other travel features.
– Spanish-language magazines: Amanda has written for print wine magazines La Cav in Chile, Placeres in Chile and El Conocedor in Argentina. Features include local wine stories as well as features from futher afield including Sicily and France.
– The Vines of Mendoza Amanda worked as the official blogger for The Vines of Mendoza, an international enterprise in wine making and tasting. She also wrote and helped develop their Mendoza travel website, experiencemendoza.com Blogs are focused on wineries, winemakers, wine tasting and travel.
– Get South Travel Guides Since 2010 Amanda has been the principal writer for this backpacker travel guide to Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. The guide prints 100,000 copies bi-annually which are distributed around the three countries.
– Wine-buzz.hk Writes weekly feature focusing on a different wine varietal and writes about different news and events in the wine world.
Editor, Wine Republic: February 2010 – January 2015
Wine Republic is a bi-monthly English language wine and travel magazine based in Argentina with a printed distribution of 10,000 copies and an international electronic subscription of over 6,000. Amanda led the editorial, design and advertising team; managed the website and social networking; and, as well as editing, was a main contributor of features and articles. She organized the magazine’s first local commercial awards (now annual) and started the first annual professional wine tasting in May 2010, as well as coordinating numerous social events.
Editor, Playground Buenos Aires: January 2014 – January 2015
Amanda was headhunted by a VC to start a new free english-language magazine for tourists and expats in Buenos Aires (30,000 copies/bi-monthly). As well as editing and writing responsibilities she conceptualized the magazine and was been a key adviser in distribution, advertising, printing and recruitment, managing a team of designers, writers and administrative assistants.
Editor, Alton Post Gazette and sister titles: June 2007 – September 2009
After University Amanda started as a junior reporter at this weekly local newspaper. Working on four titles she wrote on all aspects of local news: politics, crime and local features as well as writing for the arts and leisure pages. In April 2008 she was promoted to Editor and led a small editorial team and was responsible for training new reporters and staff. Proven ability to manage a team, handle pressure, work to dealing and produce two popular paid-for newspapers with a combined circulation of 12,000, and additionally two free newspapers with a circulation of 18,000. She also completed her NCE through home study during this time.
Other experience from July 2003:
Amanda dedicated herself to work experience in local newspapers each Summer, wrote as a King’s College correspondent for the largest student newspaper in the UK (London Student) and wrote freelance for various online travel publications including www.seeitalia.com
NCE (fully qualified), National Council for the Training of Journalists: Nov 2007 – July 2009
Awarded NCE in July 2009 after passing all NCE and NCTJ Preliminary examinations and portfolios through distance learning. This is the British journalism standard which includes all aspects of reporting including study of law and politics, writing skills and 100wpm shorthand.
BA Hons Comparative Literature, King’s College London: Sep 2004 – May 2007
Achieved a 2:1 (68) for undergraduate study of Comparative Literature: studying world literature, translation and different cultures at one of the UK’s leading universities (top 3 at time for Literature).
WSET: Diploma. Wines & Spirits Educational Trust
Amanda is currently completing her Diploma, and has so far been awarded the Peter Hampson Memorial Prize 2018 her outstanding results in Unit 2. Amanda completed her Level 3 in the WSET Wines & Spirits qualification with Merit in April 2014. Examinations included a written papers and blind tastings.
- Speaks fluent Spanish and a bit of Italian and Portuguese (and wine words in French)
- Has achieved a speed of 100 words per minute in Teeline shorthand (and her own Spanish version)
- Full British driving license and a few hours flight time as an airplane pilot and skydiver
- Once tasted over 200 sausages in The Great Hampshire Sausage Competition
- Previous hobbies include boxing, flamenco and the drums. Today she is more preoccupied by wine
- Has taken cookery courses in Italian and Argentine cuisine, Indian BBQ, a butchery course, and a master class in Japanese Whisky
“Hailing from a quaint hamlet in Hampshire, England, I’ve always dreamed of ‘exotic’ places from a young age. At first London was enough to suffice for my University years along with many trips to a few dozen European and African destinations. After a couple years working as a Reporter and later Editor of three regional newspapers in Southern England, my wondering feet and eyes adjusted to a new horizon a bit farther…
“Since September 2009 I’ve been living in and exploring South America based between Mendoza, Argentina, and Santiago, Chile, where the dynamically growing wine world has kept me captivated, stimulated and quite merry. Today I am writing about wine worldwide as I travel Around the World in 80 Harvests.
“I have a very fresh-eyed approach to meeting new people, trying a different wine or devouring a new dish, and I think this hunger for life is what keeps me eager to continue experiencing and sharing those experiences through writing. I think the only way to really learn and write about something is to jump right in and get your hands a little dirty.”