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.
Working Experience & Almost Awards:
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.
Work & Projects
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
Amanda writes for numerous international publications in the travel and wine sector. Recent collaborations include:
–WinesofChile.org Since January 2013 Amanda has been Editor of this site which provides content and information about Chilean wine regions, wines and its characters in English. She writes one feature piece per week and a couple news items as well as covering major events.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– The Telegraph Amanda has written blogs and features for this daily UK newspaper about her experiences living in South America.
– 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.
– 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.
– El Conocedor This is one of the most important wine magazines in Argentina and was where Amanda wrote her first complete article in Spanish about Malbec from Cahors.
– 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
Playground Buenos Aires is a new magazine in the capital featured articles on different aspects of life and experiences in Buenos Aires and further afield. Amanda was headhunted by a VC to start a new free english-language magazine for tourists and expats in the city. 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. The magazine currently has a print of 30,000 copies per edition (every 2 months) and over 200 distribution points.
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: Level 3. Wines & Spirits Educational Trust
Amanda completed her Level 3 in the WSET Wines & Spirits qualification with Merit in April 2014. Examinations included a written paper about wines and spirits around the world, and a blind tasting of two wines.
- Speaks almost 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 licence and a few hours flight time as an airplane pilot and skydiver
- A guest judge at The Great Hampshire Sausage Competition 2009
- A regular boxer and flamenco dancer
- Has taken a sommelier courses at Escuela Argentina de Sommelier and in London, a master class in BBQ led by Atul Kochhar, cookery courses in Italian and Argentine cuisine, 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.
“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.”