SA dominate at the 2024 Halliday Wine Companion Awards

August 8, 2023
By Rachel White

The highly-anticipated 2024 Halliday Wine Companion Awards ceremony took place in Melbourne last week, with 125 industry guests gathering to recognise the very best wines, winemakers, viticulturists, and wineries across Australia. 

This year, the James Halliday Hall of Fame was inaugurated in two classes – Wine and Australian Wine Industry. The wine category recognises a wine that has won its category on five occasions or more, and the industry award recognises individuals in the Australian wine industry deemed significant. 

The Halliday Tasting Team presented the Awards, including chief editor Campbell Mattinson, founder James Halliday AM, and expert judges Dave Brookes, Jane Faulkner, Jeni Port, Philip Rich and Shanteh Wale. 

Campbell Mattinson, Chief Editor of Halliday Wine Companion, said this year’s winners showcase the breadth and depth of Australian wine from our diverse winegrowing regions. 

“This year’s Awards and honourees underpin the strength and diversity of Australian wine amongst our regions. As a collective tasting team, we were in awe of the value that was represented in this year’s winners. 

“We’ve unearthed some gems and honoured the very best of the best Australia has to offer. Our love for wine has only become stronger after tasting over 8500 wines across the year – it was a pleasure to taste alongside our expert judges. Congratulations to all the winners,” he said.  

South Australian wines, winemakers and wineries dominated the main section of the awards this year, winning five of the nine major prizes (see below for the complete list).

Varietal winners, on the other hand, were picked from across the country, including first-time winners in this category and Winery of the Year finalists from the Hunter Valley, Pepper Tree Wines, whose Limited Release ‘Tallawanta’ Semillon 2013 won Semillon of the Year.

Pepper Tree Wines’ John Davis said winning Semillon of the Year is humbling.

John Davis, Owner of Pepper Tree Wines, said: “To win this award, given the calibre of winemakers in the region, is humbling. This is recognition for the time, effort, care and responsibility that so many of our team have committed to over many years.”

The heritage-listed Tallawanta vineyard is better known for its Shiraz, with Semillon a more recent addition from the mid-90s.

Scoring 99 points out of 100, Davis said the wine is nearly perfect. “It is a combination of vintage, vineyard, and winegrowing, and continues to excite us as it matures and develops. Winning this accolade is a lovely tribute to the Pepper Tree team. It is a fitting acknowledgement to Jim joining our winemaker Nick Kruger as we work towards building the winery’s reputation as one of Australia’s leading winegrowers,” he said. 

The Awards also mark the release of the much-loved wine enthusiast’s holy grail, the 2024 Halliday Wine Companion, which is available now. The book is a comprehensive guide to Australia’s leading wines, wineries, and grape-growing regions, including all Award winners and tasting notes.


  • Wine – Seppeltsfield 100-Year-Old Para Vintage Tawny 1923, Barossa Valley, SA (100 points)
  • Wine Industry – Prue Henschke of Henschke Wines, Keyneton, SA


  • Winery of the Year – Bleasdale Vineyards, Langhorne Creek, SA 
  • Winemaker of the Year – Kate Goodman, Penley Estate, Coonawarra, SA 
  • Viticulturist of the Year – Mark Walpole, Fighting Gully Road, Beechworth, VIC 
  • Best New Winery – Joshua Cooper Wines, Victoria
  • Dark Horse – Anderson & Marsh, Alpine Valleys, VIC
  • Best Value Winery – Oakridge Wines, Yarra Valley, VIC
  • Wine of the Year – Yangarra Estate Vineyard Old Vine Grenache 2021, McLaren Vale, SA


  • Red Wine of the Year – Yangarra Estate Vineyard Old Vine Grenache 2021, McLaren Vale
  • White Wine of the Year – Landaire at Padthaway Estate Chardonnay 2021 Padthaway
  • Sparkling Wine of the Year – Sittella Wines Grand Prestige Late Disgorged 2010 Pemberton
  • Riesling of the Year – Limefinger Solace Riesling 2022 Clare Valley
  • Chardonnay of the Year – Landaire at Padthaway Estate Chardonnay 2021 Padthaway
  • Semillon of the Year – Pepper Tree Wines Museum Release Limited Release Tallawanta Single Vineyard Semillon 2013 Hunter Valley
  • Sauvignon Blanc of the Year – Domaine Naturaliste Sauvage Sauvignon Blanc 2021, Margaret River
  • Pinot Gris/Grigio of the Year – Mayer Bloody Hill Villages Healesville Pinot Gris 2022 Yarra Valley
  • Other Whites of the Year – John Kosovich Wines Bottle Aged Reserve Chenin Blanc 2018 Swan Valley
  • Rosé of the Year – Sutton Grange Winery Fairbank Rosé 2022 Central Victoria Zone
  • Pinot Noir of the Year – Giant Steps Applejack Vineyard Pinot Noir 2022 Yarra Valley
  • Grenache & Blends of the Year – Yangarra Estate Vineyard Old Vine Grenache 2021 McLaren Vale
  • Shiraz of the Year – Murdoch Hill The Landau Single Vineyard Oakbank Syrah 2021 Adelaide Hills
  • Cabernet Shiraz Blend of the Year – Bleasdale Vineyards Wellington Road Shiraz Cabernet 2021 Langhorne Creek
  • Cabernet Sauvignon of the Year – Bleasdale Vineyards The Iron Duke Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 Langhorne Creek
  • Cabernet & Family of the Year – Houghton C.W. Ferguson Cabernet Malbec 2020 Frankland River
  • Other Reds & Blends of the Year – Yarra Yering Dry Red Wine No. 3 2021 Yarra Valley
  • Sweet Wine of the Year – De Bortoli (Riverina) Noble One Botrytis Semillon 2020 Riverina
  • Fortified Wine of the Year – All Saints Estate Museum Muscat NV, Rutherglen

Featured Image: Pepper Tree Wines’ Pokolbin Cellar Door

Stay up-to-date with the latest industry news with the Drinks Trade e-newsletter.

Share the content