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Kate Goodman named Australian Winemaker of the Year

Published:  03 August, 2023

Kate Goodman, head winemaker for Penley Estate Winery, in Coonawarra, South Australia, has been named Australian Winemaker of the Year 2024 by the Halliday Wine Companion.

Goodman is the first winemaker leading a Coonawarra winery, and the third woman in Australia to be named winner since the awards were founded in 2010. The Penley winery was also shortlisted as Australian Winery of the Year and is the only winery from the Coonawarra region to be nominated.

The award category of 'Winemaker of the Year' is said to recognise best winemaking practice and the impact the person has or is making on the Australian wine landscape.

Halliday Wine Companion editor Campbell Mattinson said: “What Kate Goodman is achieving at Penley is quite astonishing.

“It's rare – if not unheard of – that a winery does everything well. And yet somehow Kate is producing everything from the avant-garde to the traditional to an exceptional standard. The Penley Cabernet Sauvignons are now as brilliant as they are bold, but then she's also putting out innovative product after innovative product. She's obviously getting people excited about Penley but I'd also go so far as to say that she's turning people on to Coonawarra itself.”

The Halliday Wine Companion is the most comprehensive wine guide in Australia and is widely regarded as the bible of Australian wine. Award finalists are nominated by each of the nine judges, with winners then determined through a series of tastings and round-table discussions.

Penley Estate Winery co-owner, Ang Tolley, said: “Kate's investment in our family's vision is what has fed our evolution into creating some spectacular contemporary wines.

“Kate's leadership, together with viticulturist Hans Loder feels as though we have taken an almighty breath of fresh Coonawarra air and we are totally inspired to continue to push boundaries and create.”

For Goodman, the Award is further proof that Penley is on the right track.

“Since the beginning, Bec and Ang Tolley have given me the complete support and encouragement to turn things on their head and push to the point of failure to really work out what our vineyards can do. That's incredibly rare and offers me and our team the opportunity to create great things,” Goodman said.

 “Winning this award and being shortlisted for Winery of the Year is recognition and confirmation that we are on the right path, and we don't have to keep second-guessing ourselves,” she added.

With University Degrees in both Biomedical Science and Oenology, Goodman spent her early winemaking years in McLaren Vale, Great Western and the Yarra Valley, before returning to South Australia in 2016 with Penley.