Winners of the Qantas epiQure Halliday Wine Companion 2018 Awards announced

With Henschke Hill of Grace 2012 taking out Wine of the Year

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<i>Halliday Wine Companion 2018</i> by James Halliday

Halliday Wine Companion 2018 by James Halliday [©Hardie-Grant]


Pre-eminent wine critic James Halliday AM has bestowed one of his highest accolades on the oft forgotten South Australian wine region of Langhorne Creek, naming Paul Hotker of the historic Bleasdale Vineyards as Winemaker of the Year for 2018.

Hotker was among the best and brightest Australian winemakers to be honoured at the fifth annual Qantas epiQure Halliday Wine Companion Awards ceremony, held tonight in Melbourne.

The hotly anticipated Wine of the Year and Best Shiraz titles went to the much lauded 2012 Henschke Hill of Grace, which is handpicked from 152-year-old vines in the Eden Valley.

The Yarra Valley was the front runner of the night, with single-vineyard estate Mount Mary picking up Winery of the Year and Best Pinot Noir, Dappled Wines named Best New Winery and Boat O’Craigo the Dark Horse to watch.

Clare Valley legend Jeffrey Grosset, of Grosset Wines, took out Best Value Winery for his globally renowned range.

The awards are based on the reviews in the 2018 Halliday Wine Companion book, on sale nationwide from tomorrow. Featuring more than 1200 wineries (including 78 new ones) and around 6,840 individual wine ratings, it is the definitive guide to Australian wine.

James Halliday said: “I am really proud of this edition, my 12th, and love that Australia is returning to produce the classic varieties of chardonnay and shiraz, with pinot noir the rising star. All can confidently share the world stage; Australian wine is in a really good place now.”

Lisa Hudson, Head of Qantas epiQure,  said: “James Halliday is a name that is synonymous with quality and that’s something Qantas epiQure is passionate about, so we’re proud to bring the two together to recognise the best in Australian wine. Our online community of wine and food lovers will delight in the opportunity to buy some of the awarded wines, including the Wine of the Year.” 


  • Wine of the Year (sponsored by Qantas epiQure): Henschke Hill of Grace 2012
  • Winery of the Year (sponsored by Wine Australia): Mount Mary
  • Winemaker of the Year (sponsored by Sub-Zero and Wolf): Paul Hotker, Bleasdale Vineyards
  • Best Value Winery of the Year (sponsored by Kennards Wine Storage): Grosset
  • Best New Winery: Dappled Wine
  • Dark Horse Winery of the Year: Boat O’Craigo

10 VARIETAL WINNERS (sponsored by Langton’s):

  • Sparkling: Seppelt Show Sparkling Limited Release Shiraz 2007, 97 pts
  • Riesling: Duke’s Vineyard Magpie Hill Reserve Riesling, 98 pts
  • Semillon: Silkman Reserve Hunter Valley Semillon, 97 pts
  • Chardonnay: Leeuwin Estate Art Series Margaret River Chardonnay, 98 pts
  • Sauvignon Blanc: Oakdene Jessica Single Vineyard Bellarine Peninsula Sauvignon, 96 pts
  • Pinot Noir: Mount Mary Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2015, 99 pts
  • Other Reds: Yarra Yering Dry Red No. 1 2015, 99 pts
  • Shiraz: Henschke Hill of Grace 2012, 99 pts
  • Cabernet Sauvignon: Deep Woods Estate Yallingup 2014, 98 pts
  • Fortified: Seppeltsfield 100-Year-Old Para Liqueur 1917, 100 pts


  •  $28 – the least expensive bottle of award-winning wine (2016 Oakdene Jessica Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc)
  • $1500 – the most expensive bottle of award-winning wine (1917 Seppeltsfield Para Liqueur)
  • $105,000 – the total retail value of the wine served at the awards ceremony
  • 562.5L – the total amount of wine consumed on the night
  • 2500 – the number of Riedel glasses used
  • $4972 – the amount it would cost to buy a bottle of the top three wines of each varietal
  • 26 – the number of sommeliers
  • 10,000+ – the number of wines tasted for the latest Halliday Wine Companion
  • 100 – a perfect score, only ever bestowed on the Seppeltsfield Para Liqueur
  • 99 – the points given to the 2012 vintages of both Penfolds Bin 95 Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace, served side by side for one of the first times at this year’s awards ceremony

See lnks below for more information on wineries and previous editions of the Halliday Wine Companion.

Read more on the Halliday Wine Companion 2018 here »

The Halliday Wine Companion, published by Hardie Grant, (Sydney, NSW; Aug 2018; pb; 776pp) is available to purchase all good booksellers nationally for RRP A$39.99.

It can also be found to purchase online via »

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