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Halliday Australian wine-award winners revealed

Published:  08 August, 2019

Jim Barry Wines has won the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Winery of the Year award.

The Clare Valley beat more than 1,200 rivals across Australia to take the prize, judged by a team led by wine critic James Halliday.

Halliday praised the winery’s commitment to the region’s signature grape.

“They are really, really good communicators and they focus on what the Clare Valley does best – Riesling,” he said.

Pete Barry, winemaker and son of the winery’s founder, said: “The entire industry watches in anticipation for the announcement of these awards. James Halliday is the king of the Australian wine industry, and I feel that we have just received a knighthood.

“The Halliday award is a tremendous accolade representing our commitment to owning our own vineyards, wine quality, and the Clare Valley. This win is the realisation of the dreams we have and what dad set out to achieve from the beginning.”

The Winemaker of the Year award went to Vanya Cullen of Cullen Wines in Margaret River.

"It ties in with my 30th year as a senior wine grower at Cullen Wines, I feel really happy and really happy for the team here as well," Cullen said to local media.

"I am the face, if you like, but it is a whole team of people including the vineyard guys Matt Dermody, Andy Barrett-Lennard and everyone.”

Yangarra Estate’s 2016 High Sands Grenache was named Wine of the Year.

Fraser said: “Since my first vintage at Yangarra, the Grenache from this block has always shown remarkable character.

“We released the first vintage of High Sands in 2005 and I’ve always felt it was an exceptional wine.

“Grenache is grabbing the attention of the wine community for its ability to show a true sense of place and its subtleties in the winemaking.”

Fraser won Halliday’s Winemaker of the Year award in 2016.

The award for Best New Winery went to Tasmania’s Shy Susan Wines, while Best Value Winery of the Year was won by Margaret River’s Domaine Naturaliste.