This is an eclectic group of wineries, united by the mouthwatering prices they put on their wines, be it $15 or $150 a bottle. Some are newcomers; others have many decades in the business, none more so than Best’s Wines, the leader of the pack. It accordingly heads the list; the remaining wineries are in alphabetical order.
Full list of award winners.
Best Value Winery: Best’s Wines, Grampians, VIC
Of Best’s 10 wines in the 2021 Halliday Wine Companion, eight were between 95 and 97 points, all with value rosettes. Great history doesn’t have to be expensive, and this is especially the case with Best’s Old Vine Pinot Meunier. Find out more.
Bleasdale Vineyards, Langhorne Creek, SA
Ten of Bleasdale Vineyard’s wines in the 2021 Halliday Wine Companion received over 95 points, all with value rosettes: a potent example of Langhorne Creek’s ability to produce lovely wines at a modest price, from estate vineyards that have been significantly upgraded in recent years. The Adelaide Hills wines are part of a forward-looking strategy. Find out more.
Deep Woods Estate, Margaret River, WA
It may seem strange that Deep Woods Estate should be in this group, but virtually every one of its 15 entries in the 2021 Halliday Wine Companion has a value rosette. It’s why the empire Peter Fogarty built is certain to continue its eye-watering growth: you can be assured prices return a sufficient profit to generate self-funded development. It also helps that Julian Langworthy was 2019 Winemaker of the Year. Find out more.
Flowstone Wines, Margaret River, WA
All of the 10 wines submitted from Flowstone appear in the 2021 Halliday Wine Companion, nine with a value rosette, and four with 97 points. This former Best New Winery is laying claim to best winery, not just best value. It is also striking that its Queen of the Earth Sauvignon Blanc should be in the 97-point group. Flowstone’s attention to detail is typified by the appealing label designs and that the labels themselves are made from 81 per cent limestone, the remainder bonding resin. Find out more.
Forest Hill Vineyard, Great Southern, WA
The value all Forest Hill’s wines offer is exceptional, the style that of old money – another prime example of consistently extraordinary value. Six wines pointed between 96 and 98 points laid an irrefutable claim to inclusion near the top of the totem pole. Forest Hill has the early days of the Great Southern in its DNA. Find out more.
Hahndorf Hill Winery, Adelaide Hills, SA
Hahndorf Hill writes the book on gruner veltliner, using sophisticated winemaking techniques to do so. The result is unfailing value. Seven of its wines scored 95 or 96 points, only one with a price exceeding $29. Major success in all the wine shows Hahndorf Hill enters, it is up there with the very best. The cellar door is in the South Australian Tourism Hall of Fame. Find out more.
Head Wines, Barossa Valley, SA
Alex Head’s pathway was unusual – a degree in biochemistry from Sydney University, then experience with wine retail, importers and an auction house – but it explains why he makes such elegant wines. Of the 12 wines submitted, nine received between 95 and 97 points. His field of play is the tapestry of differing sites in the Barossa Valley, and their interaction with shiraz. The inspiration has come from the Cote-Rotie in the Northern Rhone Valley. Find out more.
Medhurst, Yarra Valley, VIC
The sense of humour of former CEO of Southcorp, Ross Wilson, and the urbane make-up of winemaker Simon Steele are a unique recipe for success. Seven of the eight Medhurst wines submitted scored between 95 and 97 points, and all seven received a value rosette. There is a quiet elegance to all of the wines. The winery, recessed into the hillside, was recognised for its excellence in the Victorian Architecture Awards. Find out more.
Mewstone Wines, Flowerpot, TAS
The winery address of 11 Flowerpot Jetty Road, Flowerpot might suggest this is just a whimsical venture, but production of 4000 dozen tells a different story. Best New Winery in the 2019 Halliday Wine Companion, Mewstone is now one of the best value wineries. Second label Hughes & Hughes also holds its place on quality (as well as price). Find out more.
New Era Vineyards, Adelaide Hills, SA
New Era was taking all the right steps to become an unqualified success when its vineyard was lost to a bushfire in December 2019: a vicious blow that could never have been foreseen. It’s bittersweet that six wines appearing in this year’s Halliday Wine Companion received 95 or 96 points, all six with the value rosette. Find out more.
Bleasdale’s Paul Hotker, 2018 Winemaker of the Year
The Forest Hill Mount Barker Block 1 Riesling
Winemaker Simon Steele of Medhurst
This edited extract is from the 2021 Halliday Wine Companion guide, published by Hardie Grant and available at all good bookstores.
Full list of award winners.