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Tuesday 7 May 2024

James Halliday announces his retirement

James Halliday AM, Australia's most influential and longest-serving wine writer, today announced his retirement.

Just a month after giving up his weekly column in The Australian newspaper, Halliday issued a statement saying that he will be stepping back from his wine writing and tasting commitments.

"As James steps into this new chapter, he will be using this time to compile a lifetime of wine memories – a project that we look forward to sharing," Wine Companion magazine announced.

"His contribution to the Australian wine landscape is unparalleled, and we would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge his monumental career."

.A co-founder of Brokenwood in the Hunter Valley and founder of Coldstream Hills in the Yarra Valley, Halliday is recognised as having been a major figure in the Australian wine industry for over four decades.

He worked as an author, critic, wine judge and business owner - and his ratings could make or break a wine producer.

“Late last year I made the decision that I was going to seriously cut back on my work commitments,” he said in a statement.

“Having turned 85 I wanted to fully focus on what I want to do, and that is writing about 50 years of great wine dinners I’ve attended or staged.

“This work has no deadline, has no space constraints, and is something that has been simmering in my mind and heart for the past half-decade as my ‘swansong’.

“Recent health issues have made me wish even more for this to have my sole attention.

“So, while my fondness for writing is undiminished, and with my family’s support, I will be quiet on the wine media front until I can share the birth of my last child.”

Halliday wrote his last column for The Weekend Australian on April 6, handing over to Nick Ryan and founded the Halliday Wine Magazine. His annual Halliday Wine Companion is the bible of the Australian wine industry.

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