Margaret River celebrated at last night’s 2023 Halliday Wine Companion Awards

Margaret River wine region’s outstanding wine quality and excellence at every price point was confirmed at this year’s Halliday Wine Companion Awards with the region highly awarded, including Winemaker of the Year, Dark Horse Winery and Best Value Winery.

These coveted awards celebrate the best of the best in the wine industry and the accompanying annual book also outlines the scores of individual wines and wineries across the country.

Excitingly, Margaret River is now home to more 5-star wineries than any other region. “Considering the boutique scarce production in our region, at just 2% of Australia’s national crush, this is an incredible achievement” said Amanda Whiteland – Chief Executive Officer at Margaret River Wine.   “We look forward to the Halliday Wine Companion Awards every year and we’re thrilled to see our region receive accolades for five categories.” she added.

Winemaker of the Year

Xanadu Wine Chief Winemaker, Glenn Goodall was awarded the highly anticipated accolade of Winemaker of the Year.

Award judge Erin Larkin said Glenn’s leadership, focus and attention to detail result in wines that “exude excellence at every price point.”

“Glenn is not only an exceptionally talented winemaker, but a widely loved and respected member of the industry,” Erin said.

“I’m excited and feel very honoured to receive the Halliday Winemaker of the Year award. I’ve been fortunate enough to lead the Xanadu team for many years, and winemaking is definitely a team sport. This award acknowledges everyone, including our growers, who have been involved in the Xanadu journey over the years, and I feel really proud to represent this group.” Goodall said.

Previous 'Winemaker of the Year' winners from Margaret River are Julian Langworthy (2019 edition) and Vanya Cullen (2020 edition).

Dark Horse Winery

L.A.S. Vino was awarded Dark Horse Winery.  Dark Horse nominees are wineries that are not new to the Companion but who have received a 5-star rating for the first time this year.

Erin Larkin said “Nic Peterkin was born with pedigree winemaking blood in his veins, but nothing bar his own ingenuity and hard work have got him to where L.A.S. Vino is today. Nic has consistently produced wines that push boundaries and show a penchant for his calculated, out-of-the-box style of thinking.”

L.A.S. – which stands for luck, art, and science – is one of Margaret River’s most cutting-edge wine labels.   Nic said it “Feels great to be recognised for the award after 9 years making wine in one of the most beautiful places in the world.”

A previous Margaret River 'Dark Horse of the Year' winner from Margaret River is Arlewood Estate (2017 edition).

Best Value Winery

Deep Woods Estate was a very worthy winner and Margaret River led the country with two of the nine top contenders.

Best Value doesn’t mean the cheapest and Best Value Winery of the Year is closely tied to the awarding of rosettes for wines offering special value for money at their price point. With more than 1300 rosettes awarded this year, the number of value wineries vying for this award is considerable.

Previous 'Best Value Winery of the Year' winners from Margaret River are Domaine Naturaliste (2020 edition) and Cherubino Wines (2017 edition).

Best Varietal

From over 8,000 wines from more than 1,100 wineries tasted and reviews, two Margaret River wines shone through as Best Varietal winners.

Halliday Wine Companion editor Tyson Stelzer felt the Chardonnay category was one of the most hotly contested varietal awards. Before introducing the Chardonnay of the Year he commented that “Margaret River towered above all others” before going on the announce

Stella Bella Wines as Australia’s Best Chardonnay for its single vineyard 2020 Luminosa Chardonnay.

Flowstone Wines Queen of the Earth Sauvignon Blanc 2020 was awarded Sauvignon Blanc of the Year.  This is the fourth year that Flowstone has been given such an accolade.

Other Margaret River finalists included McHenry Hohnen Vintners for 'Winery of the Year', Xanadu Wines for 'Best Value Winery', Chris Davies of Windows Estate for 'Viticulturist of the Year' and Montague Estate and Trait Wines, both for 'Best New Winery'.

The full list of results is published in the 2023 Halliday Wine Companion book and online at