Amanda Barnes is a British freelance writer and editor who specializes in wine and travel writing, as well as dabbling in food, the arts, environment issues, profiling people and (unless she can avoid it) politics. She is an expert in South American wine and regions.
Awards, Almost-Awards & Achievements
The Peter Hampson Memorial Prize 2018: WSET Diploma
Amanda was awarded this prestigious scholarship for her outstanding results in the WSET Diploma.
Fellow at Wine Writers Symposium 2017
Amanda was awarded this prestigious fellowship at the Wine Writers Symposium in 2017 to attend in Napa Valley.
Born Digital Wine Awards 2016
Amanda was awarded Best Wine & Travel Content in the Born Digital Wine Awards in 2016 for her writing at www.80harvests.com
Wine Bloggers Conference – Scholarship
Awarded the Rodney Strong scholarship for the Wine Bloggers Conference 2016.
Milessima Blog Awards 2017
Amanda was a finalist for best Food & Wine Writing in this wine writing competition in 2017.
Runner up for Young Wine Writer of the Year Award 2012 & 2013
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.
Runner up Great Wine Capitals Blogger of the Year
Amanda was runner up for the Great Wine Capitals Blogger of the Year competition in 2014.
Mendoza Winner Great Wine Capitals: Wine Republic Magazine
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. She is now the Editor of the Circle of Wine Writers monthly pubication.
Work & Projects
Editor & Creator, Around the World in 80 Harvests: January 2016 – present
Award-winning global wine adventure visiting 80 wine regions around the world and present why they are each unique through articles, videos and photography.
More information available online at: www.aroundtheworldin80harvests.com
Editor & Creator, The Squeeze Magazine & Winery Guide: January 2014 – present
An online magazine for wine & travel in Chile & Argentina. Articles on the wine regions, travel destinations and wines of both countries, with curated tourism experiences, videos and a winery guide app. www.thesqueezemagazine.com
Freelance Writer: May 2006 – present
Freelance writer for international travel and wine publications including: Decanter, The Drinks Business, SevenFifty, Oz Clarke’s Pocket Wine Book (Chile correspondent), Hugh Johnson’s Wine Guide (South America correspondent), Vivino, The Guardian, Wines of Chile, Berry Bros, Wine-Searcher, The Tasting Panel, The Telegraph, Fodor’s travel guides (Chile & Argentina), and Time Out among others. Sought-after specialist in South American wine since relocating to Mendoza, Argentina, in 2009.
Editor, Wine Republic: February 2010 – January 2015
Bi-monthly English language wine and travel magazine based in Argentina with a printed distribution of 14,000 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. Under her editorship Wine Republic won the Great Wine Capitals Award.
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 the city (30,000 copies/bi-monthly) featuring articles on different aspects of life and experiences in Buenos Aires and further afield. As well as editing and writing responsibilities she conceptualized the magazine and has been a key adviser in distribution, advertising, printing and recruitment, and manages 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. She completed her Level 3 in the WSET Wines & Spirits qualification with Merit in April 2014.
- 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. In 2016 I started on a global venture to the wine regions around the world with 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.”