Jim Barry Wines, Vanya Cullen and Yangarra Wines were the three big winners at the annual 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Awards at the National Gallery of Victoria.
Family-owned and operated Jim Barry Wines from the Clare Vallley, right, were named winery of the year while Vanya Cullen of Cullen Wines in Margaret River was named winemaker of the year in her 30th year at the helm.
The Wine of the Year was the Yangarra Estate 2016 Vineyard High Sands McLaren Vale Grenache, made by Pete Fraser.
James Halliday and his tasting panel reviewed more than 9048 Australian wines over the past year, uncovering the winners of six major awards and 12 varietal winners, which were announced throughout the evening.
Guests had the opportunity to taste 27 wines matched with a curated five-course menu.
The awards mark the release of Australia’s leading reference work to the country’s leading wines and wine-growing regions, the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion book.
Margaret River was the most successful region on the night, taking out Winemaker of the Year, Best Value Winery of the Year and the largest number of best of varietal awards.
“I am really happy for all of us at Cullen Wines," said Vanya Cullen (below). "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."
Second-generation winemaker Peter Barry, who oversees day-to-day operations alongside sons Sam and Tom at Jim Barry Wines said: “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, 60 years ago.
“I feel euphoric – this recognition encompasses all of my father and family’s hard work, commitment and vision. He was my hero and mentor, and he would be so proud of what we’ve achieved.”
Winery of the year – Jim Barry Wines, Clare Valley, SA
Winemaker of the year – Vanya Cullen - Cullen Wines, Margaret River, WA
Wine of the year – 2016 Yangarra Estate Vineyard High Sands McLaren Vale Grenache, McLaren Vale, SA
Best New Winery – Shy Susan Wines, Tasmania
Dark Horse of the Year – Dal Zotto Wines, King Valley, Victoria
Best Value winery of the year – Domaine Naturaliste, Margaret River, WA
2020 VARIETAL WINNERS
Sparkling - 2004 House of Arras EJ Carr Late Disgorged – 99 points
Riesling - 2006 Crawford River Reserve Riesling – 98 points
Semillon - 2013 Brokenwood ILR Reserve Semillon – 97 points
Sauvignon Blanc – 2017 Flowstone Queen of the Earth Sauvignon Blanc – 96 points
Chardonnay - 2017 Moss Wood Wilyabrup Chardonnay – 99 points
Semillon Sauvignon Blends – 2016 Stella Bella Suckfizzle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon – 97 points
Pinot Noir - 2017 Mount Mary Yarra Valley Pinot Noir – 99 points
Shiraz - 2017 John Duval Entity Shiraz – 99 points
Shiraz and/or Grenache - 2016 Yangarra Estate Vineyard High Sands Grenache – 99 points
Cabernet Sauvignon – 2016 Deep Woods Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – 99 points
Cabernet Sauvignon and family – 2017 Cullen Diana Madeline – 98 points
Fortified – 1919 Seppeltsfield 100 Year Old Para Liqueur – 100 points