Cold-climate wines made a splash at the Halliday Wine Companion Awards 2019 with nine Orange wineries winning five-stars this week.
The prestigious companion features some of the top wineries from across Australia.
Joining established winners Ross Hill Wines, which was selected for the companion for a third year in a row, were three newer wineries, Swinging Bridge, Rowlee Wines and Rikard Wines.
Other selected wineries from the region included Bloodwood, Colmar Estate and Philip Shaw Wines.
Also included in the Orange five-star listing were Cooks Lot and Gilbert Family Wines, which are not based in Orange but sell Orange made wine or make wine from Orange grapes.
Rowlee Wines principal Nicole Samodol said Orange already had a great track record at the awards with Ross Hill and Philip Shaw but was delighted to have three newer wineries reach five stars.
Rikard Wines owner and wine maker Will Rikard-Bell has been working in the industry and making wine for about 20 years but only recently started his own label and it was his first listing in the companion.
Swinging Bridge owner and wine maker Tom Ward said the companion is the leading wine book across Australia and possibly Asia.
“It’s probably just showcasing how well Orange is doing as a region to have nine wines,” Mr Ward said.
The awards are based on the results produced after months of tasting by respected wine critic and vigneron James Halliday AM and his expert tasting panel.
More than 9280 wines were tasted for this edition. There were full tasting notes for 3864 wines, ratings and prices for a further 2906 wines provided by 1216 wineries, including 67 new wineries.
To meet the five-star classification wineries must have two wines earn 95 out of 100 points or more from a blind tasting.
The book also provides an overview of the best of the best wines by variety, and of the best wineries by region.
“These are exciting times. There is no doubt that, for many reasons, the quality of Australia’s best wines is increasing year-by-year,” Mr Halliday said.
This year’s Winery of the Year was Seville Estate from the Yarra Valley in Victoria and Wine of the Year was a 2017 Duke’s Vineyard Magpie Hill Reserve Riesling from Great Southern in Western Australia, on 99 points.
The six major award winners:
- Winery of the Year: Seville Estate, Yarra Valley, VIC
- Wine of the Year: 2017 Duke’s Vineyard Magpie Hill Reserve Riesling, Great Southern, WA. 99 points
- Winemaker of the Year: Julian Langworthy, Deep Woods Estate, Margaret River, WA
- Best Value Winery of the Year: Provenance Wines, Geelong, VIC
- Best New Winery: Mewstone Wines, Tasmania
- Dark Horse Winery of the Year: Principia, Mornington Peninsula, VIC. Presented by Ozpak
The 10 varietal winners:
- Sparkling: 2006 House of Arras Rose TAS 97 points.
- Riesling: 2017 Duke’s Vineyard Magpie Hill Reserve Riesling WA 99 points.
- Semillon: 2010 Mount View Estate Museum Release Flagship Hunter Valley Semillon NSW 97 points
- Chardonnay: 2015 Singlefile The Vivienne Denmark Chardonnay WA 98 points
- Sauvignon Blanc: 2017 Michael Hall Piccadilly Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc SA 97 points
- Pinot Noir: 2017 Seville Estate Old Vine Reserve Yarra Valley Pinot Noir VIC 99 points
- Other reds: 2015 Yangarra Estate Vineyard High Sands McLaren Vale Grenache SA 98 points
- Shiraz: 2015 Seville Estate Dr McMahon Yarra Valley Shiraz VIC 99 points
- Cabernet Sauvignon: 2015 Cullen Vanya Wilyabrup Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon WA 99 points
- Fortified: 1918 Seppeltsfield 100 Year Old Para Liqueur SA 100 points
Halliday Wine Companion Awards 2019 trivia:
- 9289 – the number of wines tasted for this edition of the Halliday Wine Companion
- 68 – new wineries were included
- 1217 – new winery profiles
- 436,583 – the approximate mls of wine tasted (based on an average pour of 45-50ml per wine), which equates to approximately 6½ standard bathtubs of wine
- If you put a bottle of each of the wines tasted side by side on a wall, you’d need a wall 715.25m or 71km long
- 15 – the approximate number of Riedel glasses broken
- 3072– the number of Riedel glasses used at the awards this year
- $700 – the recommended retail price for a bottle of the most expensive wine served at the awards (1918 Seppeltsfield 100 Year Old Para Liqueur SA)
- $20 – the recommended retail price for a bottle of the least expensive wine served at the awards (2017 Deep Woods Estate Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc)
- $3317 – the recommended retail price for a bottle of every wine served on the awards night
- $68,468 – the total recommended retail price of the wine served at the awards night