The Halliday Wine Companion Awards are part of an annual awards evening before the release of the annual guide. Judged by James Halliday and his tasting panel, the awards earmark the best of the best when it comes to Australian wines, with categories including Best New Winery, Winemaker of the Year, Wine of the Year and Best Value Winery. Winelovers gather for the annual awards in Melbourne, which were proudly presented by Dan Murphy’s.
The 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Awards were a huge success for the certified organic industry, with two of the top prizes taken by certified organic producers.
Winemaker of the Year – Vanya Cullen (Cullen wines)
If you’re a lover of Australian wine, then you’ll know the name Cullen. The Margaret River family winery has been lead by Vanya Cullen (daughter of Diana and Kevin) over the past 30 years; introducing several new wines and achieving certified biodynamic and carbon-neutral status.
Vanya’s commitment to improving Cullen Wines while leaving the world a better place is reflected in the winery’s carbon-neutral and naturally powered status.
Wine of the Year – 2016 McLaren Vale Grenache – Yangarra Estate
Winemaker Peter Fraser (Wine Companion 2016 Winemaker of the Year) and viticulturist Michael Lane have come together to guide the vineyard to biodynamic status; with no herbicides, fungicides and minimal use of machinery to reduce the impact of soil degradation and compaction.
It’s hard to separate the impact of the place, the soil, the vines, the vintage, the viticulturist, the winemaker, the vinification and the certified biodynamic management of the 69-year-old dry-grown bush vines. All have contributed to the 260 dozen bottles of this magnificent wine.
This article includes extracts from the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion guide, published by Hardie Grant and available at all good bookstores.