New South Wales
Bimbadgen – Hunter Valley, NSW
Bimbadgen’s Palmers Lane vineyard was planted in 1968 and the McDonalds Road vineyard shortly thereafter. Both sites provide old-vine semillon, shiraz and chardonnay, with tempranillo a more recent addition. Since assuming ownership in ’97, the Lee family has applied the same level of care and attention to cultivating Bimbadgen as they have to other properties in their portfolio. The small but impressive production is consumed largely by the owner’s luxury hotel assets, with limited quantities available in the Sydney market. Exports to the UK, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Taiwan and China.
5 ★ winery | bimbadgen.com.au | Halliday profile
Boydell's – Hunter Valley, NSW
Jane and Daniel Maroulis own and operate 2 businesses on an 80ha property at East Gresford. First is a combined vineyard and luxury accommodation (Boydell’s Escape) in a large African safari tent that has attracted much praise in lifestyle/travel media; 2nd is the breeding of cattle. The vineyard is planted to verdelho, chardonnay, shiraz, merlot and pinot noir. Having the wines made by Liz Silkman at First Creek Winemakers was a very wise decision. The name of the winery refers to Charles Boydell, who first took up the land in 1826.
4 ★ winery | boydells.com.au | Halliday profile
De Iuliis – Hunter Valley, NSW
Three generations of the De Iuliis family have been involved in the establishment of the vineyard. The family acquired a property at Lovedale in 1986 and planted 18ha of vines in ’90, selling the grapes from the first few vintages to Tyrrell’s but retaining increasing amounts for release under the De Iuliis label. In ’99 the land on Broke Road was purchased and a winery and cellar door were built prior to the 2000 vintage. In ’11 De Iuliis purchased 12ha of the long-established Steven Vineyard in Pokolbin. Winemaker Michael De Iuliis completed postgraduate studies in oenology at the Roseworthy campus of the University of Adelaide and was a Len Evans Tutorial scholar. He has lifted the quality of the wines into the highest echelon. Exports to the US, Belgium, Italy, Singapore and China.
5 ★ winery | dewine.com.au | Halliday profile
Whispering Brook – Hunter Valley, NSW
It took some time for partners Susan Frazier and Adam Bell to find the property on which they established their vineyard over 20 years ago. It has a combination of terra rossa loam soils on which the reds are planted, and sandy flats for the white grapes. The partners have also established an olive grove and accommodation for 10–18 guests in the large house set in the vineyard, offering vineyard and winery tours. Exports to Canada and Japan.
5 ★ winery | whispering-brook.com | Halliday profile
Chain of Ponds – Various, SA
It is years since the Chain of Ponds brand was separated from its then 200ha of estate vineyards, which were among the largest in the Adelaide Hills. It does, however, have long-term contracts with major growers. Prior to the 2015 vintage, Greg Clack came onboard as full-time chief winemaker. In May ’16 Chain of Ponds closed its cellar door and moved to Project Wine’s small-batch processing facility at Langhorne Creek, where it also sources fruit for its budget range. Exports to the UK, the US, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan and China.
*Chain of Ponds does not currently have a cellar door but is offering customers a cellar door at home experience with Udder Delights of the Adelaide Hills. Including their Pinot Noir and Brie Toastie. More information here.
4 ★ winery | chainofponds.com.au | Halliday profile
Mount Benson Estate – Mount Benson, SA
The future of Mount Benson isn’t easy to foresee. Both climate and soil offer rich rewards for those who understand the extreme differences between the 4 seasons (for humans as well as vines). The newly installed owners of Mount Benson Estate have one obvious advantage: husband Brian Nitschinsk served for 39 years in the Australian Navy, retiring as a commander engineer. Figuratively, Mount Benson (a puny rise measured in only tens of metres) has one foot in the Southern Ocean and one foot on the ground, so Brian should feel right at home. Wife Carolyn was a secondary school teacher specialising in art and visual communication. Thus, the cold windswept landscape of winter is something they will be able to cope with. The legacy of 2 generations of the founding Wehl family has already demonstrated the ability of the vineyard to produce shiraz of exceptional quality, cabernet sauvignon not far behind.
4 ★ winery | mountbensonestate.com.au | Halliday profile
Stage Door Wine Co – Eden Valley, SA
It took a long time for Graeme Thredgold to establish Stage Door Wine Co. Having been a successful professional musician for 15 years during the 1980s and ’90s, he developed vocal nodules in the early ’90s, putting an end to his musical career. Having spent so much time working in hotels and night clubs, a new occupation stared him in the face: the liquor industry. In ’92 he began working for Lion Nathan as a sales representative, then spent 5 years with SA Brewing and in ’98 ventured into the world of wine as national sales manager for Andrew Garrett. Around 2000 he moved on to the more fertile pasture of Tucker Seabrook as state sales manager for SA. Further roles with Barossa Valley Estate and as general manager of Chain of Ponds Wines added to an impressive career in sales and marketing, before he made his final move – to general manager of Eden Hall Wines, which just happens to be owned by his sister and brother-in-law, Mardi and David Hall.
4 ★ winery | stagedoorwineco.com.au | Halliday profile
The Ridge North Lilydale – Northern Tasmania, TAS
This venture marks the return to Tasmania of husband and wife Harry Rigney and Susan Denny after more than 30 years on the east coast of the mainland. In his mid-20s Harry was the sole recipient of the prized Menzies Scholarship to undertake his master’s degree at Harvard, becoming a highly acclaimed specialist in taxation law (while continuing to this day to play his electric guitar in a rock band). Susan completed a fine arts degree in the ’70s (dux of her year) then moving into Applied Arts inter alia mastering oxy and electric welding. She also saw her father Tim’s scientific, engineering and agricultural innovations trail-blaze the world’s lavender industry. So, they were equipped to purchase a 20ha property with north-facing slopes at an altitude of 350m and planted a 2ha close-planted 6000 vine vineyard in 2013/14. It earned them the title of Best Small Vineyard Tasmania ’17.
Boat O'Craigo – Yarra Valley, VIC
Boat O’Craigo is a 2nd-generation family business established by Steve and Margaret Graham in 1998 with the planting of a vineyard at Kangaroo Ground. The elevated site was planted with shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, grenache and viognier. The first vintage was in 2003. A 2nd vineyard in Healesville, purchased in ’03, is home to the cellar door. It is bounded by the Graceburn Creek and Black Spur Ranges, with plantings of pinot noir, chardonnay, gewurztraminer, grüner veltliner, pinot gris and sauvignon blanc. Since ’15 Travers, Steve and Margaret’s eldest son, has run the business. Boat O’Craigo was awarded Dark Horse of the Year in the Wine Companion 2018. Exports to Hong Kong and China.
4.5 ★ winery | boatocraigo.com.au | Halliday profile
Fowles Wine – Strathbogie Ranges, VIC
This family-owned winery is led by Matt Fowles, with chief winemaker Lindsay Brown heading the winemaking team. The large vineyard is primarily focused on riesling, chardonnay, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, but also includes arneis, vermentino, pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, mourvèdre, sangiovese and merlot. Marketing is energetic, with the well known Ladies who Shoot their Lunch label also available presented in a 6-bottle gun case. Exports to the UK, the US, Canada and China.
4.5 ★ winery | fowleswine.com | Halliday profile
Nintingbool – Ballarat, VIC
Peter and Jill Bothe purchased the Nintingbool property in 1982 and built their home in ’84, using bluestone dating back to the gold rush. They established an extensive Australian native garden and home orchard but in ’98 diversified by planting pinot noir, with a further planting the following year lifting the total to 2ha. Ballarat is one of the coolest mainland regions and demands absolute attention to detail (and a warm growing season) for success.
4 ★ winery | nintingbool.com.au | Halliday profile
Yarra Yering – Yarra Valley, VIC
In September 2008, founder Bailey Carrodus died and in April ’09 Yarra Yering was on the market. It was Bailey Carrodus’s clear wish and expectation that any purchaser would continue to manage the vineyard and winery, and hence the wine style, in much the same way as he had done for the previous 40 years. Its acquisition in June ’09 by a small group of investment bankers has fulfilled that wish. The low-yielding, unirrigated vineyards have always produced wines of extraordinary depth and intensity. Sarah Crowe was appointed winemaker after the 2013 vintage. She has made red wines of the highest imaginable quality right from her first vintage in ’14 and, to the delight of many, myself (James) included, has offered all the wines with screwcaps.
5 ★ winery | yarrayering.com | Halliday profile
Clairault Streicker Wines – Margaret River, WA
This multifaceted business is owned by New York resident John Streicker. It began in 2002 when he purchased the Yallingup Protea Farm and vineyards. This was followed by the purchase of the Ironstone Vineyard in ’03 and then the Bridgeland Vineyard. The Ironstone Vineyard is one of the oldest vineyards in Wilyabrup. In April ’12 Streicker acquired Clairault, bringing a further 40ha of estate vines, including 12ha now over 40 years old. The 2 brands are effectively run as one venture. A large part of the grape production is sold to winemakers in the region. Exports to the US, Canada, Norway, Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and China.
5 ★ winery | clairaultstreicker.com.au | Halliday profile
Fishbone Wines – Margaret River, WA
Fishbone Wines’ 9.1ha vineyard includes chardonnay, tempranillo and cabernet sauvignon; and 1ha of newer plantings of malbec, vermentino and pinot noir. The Fishbone wines are created with minimal intervention. The range includes the ‘accessible’ Blue Label range, single vineyard Black Label Margaret range and the ‘icon’ Joseph River wines. The restaurant features a Japanese-inspired menu with a terrace overlooking the property. Exports to the US, Canada, Dubai, Singapore, Taiwan and China.
3.5 ★ winery | fishbonewines.com.au | Halliday profile
Windance Wines – Margaret River, WA
Drew and Rosemary Brent-White founded this family business, situated 5km south of Yallingup. Cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, merlot, grenache, semillon and grenache have been established. The estate wines are all certified organic. Daughter Billie and husband Tyke Wheatley now own the business: Billie, a qualified accountant, was raised at Windance and manages the business and the cellar door; and Tyke (with winemaking experience at Picardy, Happs and Burgundy) has taken over the winemaking and manages the vineyard.
3.5 ★ winery | windance.com.au | Halliday profile
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