Wine Tasting Guide

Understanding winery ratings

By Halliday Wine Companion

WINERY RATINGS

Find detailed overviews of more than 3000 wineries located in diverse regions around Australia with one of the most thorough winery resources in the country, including star ratings, winemaker and production information, and links to the latest wine reviews from James Halliday and his team.

James Halliday’s winery reviews speak to the history, winemaking specialities and regions associated with producers, with a few fun facts and plenty of witticisms along the way.

Use this as a tool to plan your next wine-touring trip, with cellar door information and links to the producer’s wine styles all helping to inform your itinerary when visiting Australian wine regions.  

5 red stars

Outstanding winery regularly producing wines of exemplary quality and typicity. Will have at least two wines rated at 95 points or above, and had a five-star rating for the previous two years.

Where the winery name is itself is printed in red, it is a winery generally acknowledged to have had a long track record of excellence in the context of its region — truly the best of the best.

5 black stars

Outstanding winery capable of producing wines of very high quality, and did so this year. Also will usually have at least two wines rated at 95 points or above.

4.5 black stars

Excellent winery able to produce wines of high to very high quality, knocking on the door of a 5-star rating. Will normally have one wine rated at 95 points or above, and two (or more) at 90 and above, others 87-89.

Very good producer of wines with class and character. Will have two (or more) wines rated at 90 points and above (or possibly one at 95 and above).

4 black stars

A solid, usually reliable, maker of good, sometimes very good wines. Will have one wine at 90 points and above, others 86-89.

3 black stars

A typically good winery, but often has a few lesser wines. Will have wines at 86-89 points. 

NR

The rating is given in a range of circumstances: where there have been no tastings in the 12-month period; where there have been tastings, but with no wines scoring more than 88 points; or where the tastings have, for one reason or another, proved not to fairly reflect the reputation of a winery with a track record of success. NR wineries in the book are generally new wineries with no wine entries.