Best’s Wines: Best known for great shiraz crafted from very old vines, the oldest planted in 1868, which supply the Thomson Family and Bin No. 0 shiraz bottlings. Clonakilla: Best known for elegant, spicy shiraz viognier blend and Murrumbateman Syrah are the headline acts, but lately some single-block shiraz viogniers have appeared: T&L Vineyard Block 1 2019 and Western Vineyard 2019. Tyrrell’s: Best known for outstanding and ageworthy shiraz, semillon and chardonnay. This 163-year-old family winery owns eight of the Hunter’s handful of centenarian vineyards, its ‘Sacred Sites’. Tolpuddle: Best known for just two wines, a chardonnay and a pinot noir, but spellbinding wines! In just eight vintages this Shaw + Smith outpost has carved a solid place for itself in the highest ranks of Australian wine.
Bindi Wines: Best known for pinot noir in a fascinating variety of single block bottlings, chardonnay as well. Tarrawarra Estate: Best known for the Yarra cornerstones chardonnay and pinot noir, but Tarrawarra adds a lovely Rhône white blend, as well as Italian varietals barbera and nebbiolo. Vasse Felix: Best known for cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay at several levels, all of them exemplary. Wynns Coonawarra Estate: Best known for some of the finest cabernet sauvignon and shiraz in Coonawarra, produced in the atmospheric 1896 stone winery from the region’s largest acreage of prime vineyards.
Henschke: Best known for Hill of Grace, one of Australia’s most famous wines, and an extraordinary suite of superb wines from Eden Valley riesling and shiraz to Barossa Valley GSM and Adelaide Hills chardonnay, pinot noir, sparkling wine, pinot gris and sauvignon blanc. Howard Park: Best known for a bewildering array of fine wines from chardonnay and riesling to cabernet, shiraz, sauvignon blanc and bubbly. Yering Station: Best known for Yarra Valley standards pinot noir and chardonnay, as well as a benchmark shiraz viognier and reserve cabernet sauvignon. The modestly priced Village range delivers keen value. De Bortoli: Best known for fearlessly innovative styles of Yarra pinot noir, chardonnay, shiraz and other varieties; rosé in many guises a cheerleader.
Oakridge: best known for ultra-refined chardonnays and super-perfumed reds from pinot noir, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, the single-vineyard chardonnays being special value. Silkman: best known for semillon, chardonnay and shiraz in traditional Hunter styles. Paringa Estate: best known for outstanding pinot noir and chardonnay, including some of the peninsula’s most powerfully structured, long-lasting pinot. Hentley Farm: best known for massive reds from the western Barossa with names like The Beauty and The Beast.
Poonawatta: best known for Poonawatta’s secret weapon is a shiraz vineyard planted in 1880. Château Tanunda: best known for an iconic building, beautifully restored, is the home of a mesmerizing array of old-vine reds, many labels indicating 50, 100 and 150-year-old vines. Shiraz, grenache, cabernet and multifarious blends. Gibson: best known for tense, ageworthy Eden Valley riesling and an array of fine Barossa and Eden reds, including Reserve label shiraz and merlot. Australian Old Vine Collection Shirazes from Barossa and Eden provide fascinating contrast. Peter Lehmann: best known for statuesque but never over-the-top Barossa reds, led by Stonewell and Eight Songs shirazes; also the Barossa’s best semillon, under the Margaret brand.
Woodlands: best known for cabernet sauvignon and blends bottled under several labels, also chardonnay led by the majestic Chloe Reserve, all from grapes grown in the Wilyabrup subregion. Lake’s Folly: best known for complex chardonnays which are among the region’s finest, and the quixotic cabernet blend instigated by Dr Max Lake in 1963. John Duval Wines: best known for building a magnificent array of wines, led by multiple bottlings of shiraz; old-vine mataro and grenache also thrilling. Yeringberg: best known for deliciously elegant, fruit-driven chardonnay, pinot noir and, especially, the blend of Bordeaux red varieties simply labelled Yeringberg.
Giaconda: best known for arguably Australia’s most prized chardonnay cast in an unapologetically full-throttle, super-complex style. This wine steals the limelight but the two shirazes and lately pinot noir are also outstanding. Head Wines: best known for making modern Barossa reds with lifted spicy aromatics and great elegance, with increasing emphasis on the cooler Eden Valley. Pierro: best known for Michael Peterkin’s chardonnays are simply great, under both the estate and rare Vintage Reserve labels. One of the region’s original semillon sauvignon blanc blends, Pierro’s LTC is still a standard bearer while Reserve Cabernet Merlot is an exercise in elegance. The 2017 was Pierro’s top scorer. Handpicked: best known for being a small wine business, Handpicked is impressively eclectic, selling a wide range of wines from all over not only Australia, but the world.
Pepper Tree: best known for an impressive array of Hunter, Orange, Wrattonbully and Coonawarra wines, all crafted in the Hunter Valley winery. Yangarra Estate: best known for Peter Fraser crafting leading examples of high-altitude grenache, shiraz and other Rhône varieties, especially roussanne and mourvèdre. Keith Tulloch Wine: best known for traditional Hunter wines produced from regional front rowers semillon, chardonnay and shiraz, these wines show increasing elegance and balance. Giant Steps: best known for both chardonnay and pinot noir under multiple vineyard labels show beautiful touch, while shiraz and cabernet-based blend, Harry’s Monster, are also impressive.
Rieslingfreak: Best known for riesling, riesling and more riesling! Owner/winemaker John Hughes only makes riesling, hence the name, and there were 10 labels at last count. Stonier: Best known for superfine chardonnay and pinot noir under a range of individual vineyard labels, the number varies from year to year depending on the success of the season. Frankland Estate: Best known for riesling under six different labels, topped by Isolation Ridge Vineyard and off-dry SmithCullam, but recently the shirazes and cabernet blend Olmo’s Reward are just as impressive. Levantine Hill: Best known for being an ambitious winery with prices to match, fielding innovative styles that reflect winemaker Paul Bridgeman’s tastes.
Moss Wood: best known for cabernet sauvignon, dry-grown on the estate vineyard in Wilyabrup, the wine that drew huge attention to Margaret River in the early days. Chardonnay also hits the heights in a generous style. Ribbon Vale Vineyard wines are increasingly impressive. Duke’s Vineyard: best known for riesling is the star turn at Duke and Hilde Ranson’s Porongurup vineyard, contract-made by Rob Diletti of Castle Rock Estate, but cabernet and shiraz reds are increasingly impressive. Fighting Gully Road: best known for a viticulturist first and foremost, Mark Walpole draws on his and his family’s vineyards in the Ovens Valley as well as Beechworth for Italian varietals, especially sangiovese and aglianico, the southern French white grape manseng, tempranillo and more classic Beechworth chardonnay and shiraz. Pewsey Vale: best known for riesling, and lots of it. Winemaker Louisa Rose makes dry, off-dry (Prima), an original 1961 vines bottling, and two The Contours wines, one sold at five years of age, the other at 10.