Introduction

James Halliday AM, in association with the Wine Companion magazine and Hardie Grant Publishing, announced the winners of the inaugural Halliday Wine Companion Awards.

Designed to highlight outstanding quality, the awards celebrated wineries large and small, ahead of the release of the 2016 Halliday Australian Wine Companion on Wednesday, 29 July.

James Halliday said of the awards, “The time was right to celebrate the Australian wine industry’s finest. We’ve never before had a ceremony like this and it’s a fantastic way to recognise those wines and producers that are truly remarkable. It’s been a great year for over-performers.”

The four major awards of the evening were Winery of the Year, Wine of the Year, Dark Horse of the Year and New Winery of the Year.

  • Best New Winery 2016

    Each winery in the Ten Best New Wineries have made their debut in Wine Companion with a five-star rating. The ultimate selection criteria for the Ten Best New Wineries included the number of wines earning 94 points or above, and also value for money. The winner in this category was Bicknell fc, in the Yarra Valley. Bicknell fc – Bicknell family company – is owned by David Bicknell, better known for his role as chief winemaker at Oakridge, and his viticulturist wife, Nicky Harris.

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  • Dark Horse of the Year: Terindah Estate

    Terindah Estate took out took out the top award in the Ten Dark Horses category at the Qantas epiQure Halliday Wine Companion Awards. There was a large number of contenders for this recognition, and you can click here to discover which wineries joined Terindah Estate in Dark Horses 2016.

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  • Wine of the Year: 2014 Serrat Yarra Valley Shiraz Viognier

    As the ten-month gestation of the Wine Companion progresses, with a four-month daily grind of tasting 80 wines day in, day out, I become totally immersed in the fabric of current Australian wines and winemaking.

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  • Winery of the Year: Tahbilk

    The award for Winery of the Year went to Tahbilk. When brooding about the selection of Winery of the Year, I recalled that in 1994 the Maurice O’Shea Award had been given to Jacob’s Creek, and in 2002 to the Australian Wine Research Institute, both examples of lateral thinking that (in very different ways) made my choice of Tahbilk seem conventional. But prior awards for the Companion’s Winery of the Year had been selected by currently available wines as the main criteria.

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