Margaret River dominates 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Awards


2020 Halliday Wine Companion Awards

Margaret River Wine Reigns Supreme

The Margaret River region reigned supreme at the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Awards held last night (7 August) in Melbourne. Organic and bio-dynamic winemaker, Vanya Cullen was named Winemaker of the Year, Domaine Naturaliste was awarded Best Value Winery of the Year and the region received the largest number of Best of Varietal Awards.

Vanya Cullen, Winemaker of the Year

Organic and biodynamic winemaker, Vanya Cullen was named Winemaker of the Year at the prestigious awards ceremony. James Halliday is universally considered Australia’s foremost expert on wine, immersing himself in the latest canvas of the country’s wine by tasting 80 wines daily for his Halliday Wine Companion book, the wine industry’s equivalent of the Bible.

This is the second year in a row that a Margaret River Winemaker has received Winemaker of the Year, with Julian Langworthy of Deep Woods Estate bringing home the award last year.

“Vanya’s commitment to improving Cullen Wines while leaving the world a better place is reflected in the winery’s carbon-neutral and naturally powered status.” Halliday said of Cullen.

A tour of the Cullen Wines and Restaurant takes you direct to the heart of Vanya’s principles. You’ll learn about biodynamic preparation among the vines, tour the vineyard’s biodynamic garden and then sit down to eat the food and drink the wine you’ve just fallen in love with. An experience not to be missed.

Domaine Naturaliste, Best Value Winery of the Year

After nearly three decades of applying his passion and expertise to countless vintages for local producers, renowned winemaker Bruce Dukes launched Domaine Naturaliste – his own range of highly acclaimed wines. Named in homage to the southwest region where he has honed his craft.

Having recently opened a cellar door in Wilyabrup, visitors can now sample Bruce’s beautiful, balanced wines among the vines. Settle in for a wine flight, explained to you by the knowledgeable cellar door team and paired with a range of local and imported cheeses and cured meats.

Best Varietal Awards

Margaret River is well and truly the star of the 2020 Companion, the famed region responsible for five of Halliday’s 12 best varietal awards (listed further down) that recognise the top rated wines across Australia in each grape category:

Sauvignon Blanc: 2017 Flowstone Queen of the Earth Sauvignon Blanc, 96pts
Chardonnay: 2017 Moss Wood Wilyabrup Chardonnay,  99pts
Semillon Sauvignon blends: 2016 Stella Bella Suckfizzle SBS, 97pts
Cabernet Sauvignon: 2016 Deep Woods Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 99pts
Cabernet Sauvignon (and family): 2017 Cullen Wines Diana Madeline, 98pts

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Amanda Carmichael

Author Amanda Carmichael

Amanda is Queensland born, West Australian at heart. After clocking up some serious km's visiting the Margaret River region every second weekend, she recently packed up and made the move to the most beautiful part of Australia. Happiest when by the sea, adventuring and trying ALL the food and wine. Now living in the region, she knows she's hit the jackpot!

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