Henschke's named winery of year

Henschke's named winery of year


SA wineries have scooped the pool at the 2021 Halliday Wine Companion Awards, winning three of the six major prizes.


SA wineries have scooped the pool at the 2021 Halliday Wine Companion Awards, winning three of the six major prizes.

For the second consecutive year, the title of Winery of the Year comes to SA, with Barossa Valley's Hentschke taking the honours.

Winemaker of the year went to Brett Grocke, Eperosa Wines, also in the Barossa, while new winery of the year was Varney Wines, McLaren Vale.

Rounding out the major prizes was the Brokenwood Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz 2018 from the NSW Hunter Valley as wine of the year; Yarran Wines, Riverina, NSW, as Dark Horse of the year; and Best's Wines, Great Western, Vic, as best value winery.

SA growers also claimed some varietal awards with the 2018 Brothers at War single vineyard grenache winning the best grenache and blends, while the 1920 Seppeltsfield 100-year Para Liqueur was best fortified.

The prizes were announced on Wednesday night during an online event, for the first time.

Throughout the past year, the team reviewed close to 10,000 Australian wines, uncovering the six major award winners and 16 varietal winners along the way.

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The awards were considered a celebration of the wine industry during a difficult time, with every state affected by disastrous climates, with lower yields being reported across the board.

Due to the disastrous year of drought, bad weather, bushfires, smoke taint and COVID-19, no winery's rating has been reduced this year.

The 2021 edition of the James Halliday Wine Companion also included some notes on the SA season.

The Barossa Valley's growing season rainfall was lower than 2018, 50pc down on average, with yields down 60-70pc.

The Clare Valley was in drought - resulting in the lowest yields in the last 40 years - but its riesling remained a standout success with vineyards full of tiny bunches with high tannins.

Eden Valley's warm conditions resulted in excellent quality across the board.

In the McLaren Vale, grenache was a standout while the Adelaide Hills recorded way below long-term average yields due to bushfires and smoke damage, but wine that made it to bottle is exceptional quality, high in natural acidity and pristine varietal flavours.

Mount Benson and Robe suffered less than most, however red grape varieties were 60pc down, and whites 30pc down.

Chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and pinot gris continued the 'good things in small parcels', but shiraz will be the best variety, even though yields are significantly down on previous years.

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