Margaret River dominates the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Awards

The 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Awards were presented in Melbourne on 7 August 2019 and Margaret River dominated the night winning Winemaker of the Year, Best Value Winery of the Year and the largest number of Best of Varietal Awards.

Organic and bio-dynamic winemaker, Vanya Cullen was named Winemaker of the Year at the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Awards.

I am really happy for all of Cullen Wines.  I am the face, if you like, but it is a whole team of people including the vineyard guys Matt Dermody, Andy Barrett-Lennard and everyone” she said.

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.

Domaine Naturaliste was named the Best Value Winery of the Year recognising the wines as both great quality and great value.

Bruce Dukes, Domaine Naturaliste’s Winemaker, emotionally said “It is an honour that out of around 2,600 produces in Australia that Domaine Naturaliste of Margaret River has been chosen by Australia’s greatest and most experienced wine expert for this award.  Margaret River has a set of natural conditions which suit the farming of grapes very well.  I feel blessed to be able to live and work in in such a wonderful region.”

The awards also saw masses of Margaret River winemakers make the trip to Melbourne to collect five Best of Varietal Awards for Best Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet and family, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.

Australia’s Best of Varietal winners were:

  • Best Cabernet Sauvignon – 2016 Deep Woods Estate Reserve Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon – 99 points

  • Best Cabernet Sauvignon and family – 2017 Cullen Diana Madeline – 98 points

  • Best Chardonnay - Moss Wood Wilyabrup Margaret River Chardonnay 2017 - 99 points

  • Best Sauvignon Blanc - Flowstone Wines Queen of the Earth Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc 2017 - 96 points

  • Best Semillon Sauvignon Blanc - Stella Bella Suckfizzle Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2016 - 97 points

Amanda Whiteland, Margaret River Wine Association CEO said “James Halliday is Australia’s most influential and respected wine critic and having James and his tasting team award Margaret River wines, winemakers and wineries as the best in Australia is wonderful recognition for our region’s world-class quality, talent and unique grape growing conditions.

More major results for Margaret River wines can be found here.

The full results are published in the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion, or see

Previous Margaret River Halliday Wine Companion Award Winners:

  • Julian Langworthy was awarded Winemaker of the Year in the 2019 edition.

  • Larry Cherrubino Wines was awarded Best Value Winery of the Year in the 2017 edition.

  • Arlewood Estate was awarded Dark Horse of the Year in the 2017 edition.

  • Xanadu Stevens Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 was awarded Wine of the Year in the 2015 edition.

Winemaker of the Year and Best Value Winery of the Year were first awarded in the 2015 edition.