Australia’s Wine of the Year

Dukes Vineyard
Hilde and Ian (Duke) Ranson

By Fergal Gleeson

Leading wine critic James Halliday AM has crowned the winners of the Halliday Wine Companion Awards 2019 at a ceremony held tonight (Wednesday, August 1) at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. The winners were chosen as the very best from the latest and most definitive guide to Australian wine, the Halliday Wine Companion 2019, which officially launches tomorrow (Thursday, August 2).

Porongurup-based Duke’s Vineyard took home the coveted awards of Wine of the Year. This is the first year in the Award’s history that a white wine has won this prestigious award.

“All our friends that said Hilde and I were too old to be doing this, and here we are now receiving the Wine of the Year award, it’s been a fantastic journey,” says Duke Ranson of Duke’s Vineyard.

James Halliday said, “the drums have been beating about Riesling for many years. Both in Australia and its ancestral homes in Germany great wines are sold at prices far lower than other white (or red) wines of comparable quality. This is pure gold, and will live for decades.”

Australia’s Best Cabernet


There was an award on the night for one of the Margaret River’s pioneering wineries Cullen Wines, who were recognised by the Halliday Wine Companion for making Australia’s best Cabernet Sauvignon.

The 2015 Cullen Vanya Cabernet Sauvignon was awarded 99 pts which is just about perfection given that Halliday has rarely, if ever, awarded 100 points to any wine other than Seppeltsfield’s 100 year old ports.

This is a great recognition for the certified biodynamic, carbon neutral winery that continues to innovate with distinctive wines. Cullen is the leader in sustainable winemaking in Australia.

It also continues Margaret River’s bragging rights as the region that makes the greatest Cabernets in the land!

The six major award winners

  • Winery of the Year: Seville Estate, Yarra Valley, VIC. Presented by Wine Australia.
  • Wine of the Year: 2017 Duke’s Vineyard Magpie Hill Reserve Riesling, Great Southern, WA. 99 pts Presented by Vintec
  • Winemaker of the Year: Julian Langworthy, Deep Woods Estate, Margaret River, WA. Presented by Qantas Wine.
  • Best Value Winery of the Year: Provenance Wines, Geelong, VIC
  • Best New Winery: Mewstone Wines, Tasmania. Presented by The Australian Wine.
  • 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 pts
  • Riesling: 2017 Duke’s Vineyard Magpie Hill Reserve Riesling WA 99 pts
  • Semillon: 2010 Mount View Estate Museum Release Flagship Hunter Valley Semillon NSW 97 pts
  • Chardonnay: 2015 Singlefile The Vivienne Denmark Chardonnay WA 98 pts
  • Sauvignon Blanc: 2017 Michael Hall Piccadilly Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc SA 97pts
  • Pinot Noir: 2017 Seville Estate Old Vine Reserve Yarra Valley Pinot Noir VIC 99 pts
  • Other reds: 2015 Yangarra Estate Vineyard High Sands McLaren Vale Grenache SA 98 pts
  • Shiraz: 2015 Seville Estate Dr McMahon Yarra Valley Shiraz VIC 99 pts
  • Cabernet Sauvignon: 2015 Cullen Vanya Wilyabrup Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon WA 99 pts
  • Fortified: 1918 Seppeltsfield 100 Year Old Para Liqueur SA 100 pts

This is a modified excerpt from an article that appeared in the spring edition of Your Margaret River Region Magazine



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