Wineries to discover: October

By Halliday Promotion

4 Oct, 2023

We've rounded up 26 wineries from across the country for you to explore below, including those from the Hunter Valley, Margaret River, Mornington Peninsula and more.



New South Wales

De Iuliis – Hunter Valley, NSW

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As one of the Hunter Valley's top producers, the De Iuliis family create wines of excellence and outstanding quality. Wine has been a tradition in the De Iuliis family for four generations, dating back to 1930s in Italy. Since then, winemaker Mike has lifted the quality of wines into the highest echelon with his innovative winemaking and focus on Hunter Valley regionality. Recently, the 2017 Aged Release Semillon was named in James Halliday’s Top 100 Wines of 2022 and the 2019 Limited Release Shiraz won Best Red Wine at the Hunter Valley Wine Show in 2021 and 2022. De Iuliis may be one of the hardest names to say in the Australian wine industry, but it is one of the best.

5 winery | | Halliday profile

Krinklewood Biodynamic Vineyard – Hunter Valley, NSW

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Krinklewood is the Hunter's Valley's only certified organic and biodynamic vineyard. Certified for over 17 years, every aspect of the property is managed in a holistic and sustainable way; extensive herb crops, native grasses and farm animals help maintain healthy soil biology. They produce classic Hunter varieties such as shiraz, semillon and chardonnay, alongside other varietals (such as their cult-followed Francesca Rosé) from the on-site winery. More recently, Krinklewood's head winemaker Valentina Moresco received a gold on the 2022 Semillon (95 points, Halliday Wine Companion) and 2007 Fortified Verdelho (96 points, Halliday Wine Companion). 

4.5 winery | | Halliday profile

Mount Pleasant – Hunter Valley, NSW

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While the vaunted history of craftsmanship here is indisputable, winemaker Adrian Sparks seems to have a predilection for mid-weighted, lower-alcohol styles of red, not dissimilar to the great Hunter River Burgundies crafted by the legendary Maurice O’Shea. Ned Goodwin MW says: "This is a style that is as aspirational today as it was revered then, gleaned from a polyglot of historical vineyards, variable geologies, and stylistic patinas, including expressions of the Old Paddock and Rosehill vineyards, in addition to the Mountain series of medium and full-bodied dry reds. The whites, too, feel less austere. However, their fealty to the regional pedigree of steely, long-lived semillon is clear."

5 winery | | Halliday profile

Nugan Estate – Riverina, NSW

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The story of Nugan Estate started in 1940 when Alfredo and Annelise Nugan landed in Australia as immigrants from Europe. Today, Nugan Estate is owned and operated by Alfredo and Annelise’s grandson, Matthew Nugan. Matthew maintains the family traditions and shares their passion for good wine. Nugan Estate is dedicated to producing premium wines from specially selected vineyards located in the Riverina, King Valley, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale and Coonawarra regions. Nugan Estate exports to the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Ukraine, the US, Canada, NZ, Japan, Nigeria, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

4 ★ winery | | Halliday profile

RidgeView Wines – Hunter Valley, NSW

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RidgeView is an insider’s secret, brimming with a solid suite of wines and some exceptional aged releases and older cellar stock. The address also boasts the funkiest retro label in all of the Hunter Valley. In 2020 RidgeView purchased a neighbouring property, Eagle’s Nest, planted to chardonnay, sangiovese, verdelho and shiraz. A new winery is slated for completion in 2023. This will complement the established restaurant and its holistic culture of wines, local produce and herbs, all grown at the estate. – Ned Goodwin MW.

 winery | profile


Granite Hills – Macedon Ranges, VIC

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"Granite Hills is one of the enduring classics, having pioneered the successful growing of riesling and shiraz in an uncompromisingly cool climate. The vineyard includes riesling, chardonnay, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, grüner veltliner, pinot blanc, gamay and pinot noir (the last also used in its sparkling wine). The rieslings age superbly, and the shiraz was the forerunner of the cool-climate school in Australia." – James Halliday. This year marks the 50th anniversary of their first vintage, and they would like to invite everyone to visit their cellar door to celebrate. 

winery | | Halliday profile

Handpicked Wines – Various

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Handpicked Wines represent a mosaic of the best wine growing regions across Australia, and a commitment to telling the diverse stories each vineyard and season offers. As proud custodians of 6 organically managed vineyards across Mornington Peninsula, Yarra Valley, Barossa Valley and Tasmania, they have so far achieved sustainability accreditation for six vineyards and organic accreditation for three of their vineyards. Devotion, care and love for the land has been rewarded year after year with exceptional fruit, resulting in outstanding and highly awarded wines. Enjoy and compare all of their wine regions at the Handpicked Wines Urban Cellar Doors at 50 Kensington St, Chippendale NSW 2008 or 80 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000.

5 ★ winery | | Halliday profile

Rahona Valley – Mornington Peninsula, VIC

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In 2014, Dianne and Toby's dream of owning a vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula materialised when they discovered Rahona Valley. Nestled in the secluded Red Hill South valley, this hidden gem stole their hearts. Their journey began with the purchase of this enchanting vineyard, propelling them headlong into the world of winemaking. From its humble three-acre origins, Rahona Valley has flourished, now boasting over 20 acres of vineyards and a dedicated winery facility in Dromana, committed to crafting exquisite sparkling wines. They offer an impressive selection of over 10 sparkling wines, alongside a complementary assortment of cool-climate table wines sourced from both the Mornington Peninsula and Tasmania.

5 ★ winery | | Halliday profile

Scotchmans Hill – Geelong, VIC

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Scotchmans Hill is a grower, producer and wholesaler of premium maritime cool-climate wines. Scotchmans Hill had their first vintage in 1986, requiring a single 1500 litre stainless steel tank and five barrels; now they have an 800 cubic metre modern temperature-controlled facility housing over 1200 French oak barrels. The aim of the winemaking team, lead by chief winemaker Robin Brockett and senior winemaker Marcus Holt, is to produce highly individualistic wines by both modern and traditional winemaking techniques. With their award-winning cellar door and newly refurbished restaurant, the winery is a must when visiting the Bellarine Peninsula.

 winery | | Halliday profile

Yarra Yering – Yarra Valley, VIC

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Yarra Yering, Halliday Wine Companion's Winery of the Year 2022, is one of the oldest and most beautiful vineyards in Victoria’s Yarra Valley with 28ha of vines located at the foot of the Warramate Hills. Established in 1969 by Dr Bailey Carrodus, the 1973 vintage saw production of the first vintage of Dry Red Wine No. 1 and Dry Red Wine No. 2. Yarra Yering quickly gained an international reputation for quality and individuality and paved the way for other Yarra Valley wineries. Today, winemaker Sarah Crowe (Halliday Wine Companion's Winemaker of the Year 2017) honours the tradition started by Dr Carrodus, producing wines of exceptional quality sought after by wine enthusiasts and critics alike.

5  winery | | Halliday profile

South Australia

Bleasdale Vineyards – Langhorne Creek, SA

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Not only one of the most historic wineries in Australia, with over 170 years of continuous winemaking by the direct descendants of the founding Potts family, but one of the leading quality producers in the land. Not so long before the start of the 21st century, its vineyards were flooded every winter by diversion of the Bremer River, which provided moisture throughout the dry, cool growing season. In the new millennium, every drop of water is counted. The vineyards have been significantly upgraded and refocused: shiraz accounts for 45 per cent of plantings, supported by seven other proven varieties; sauvignon blanc, pinot gris and chardonnay are sourced from the Adelaide Hills. Bleasdale Vineyards is the Halliday Wine Companion 2024 Winery of the Year. – James Halliday.

5  winery | | Halliday profile

Brand & Sons – Coonawarra, SA

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The Brand family story starts with the arrival of Eric Brand in Coonawarra in 1950. He married Nancy Redman and purchased a 24ha block from the Redman family, relinquishing his job as a baker and becoming a grapegrower. It was not until 1966 that the first Brand’s Laira wine was made. The family sold the Brand’s Laira winery to McWilliam’s Wines in 1994, with Eric’s son Jim Brand staying on as chief winemaker until he passed away in 2005. Today Brand & Sons is run by Sam Brand, the 4th generation of this family, which has played a major role in Coonawarra for over 70 years. – James Halliday.

5 ★ winery | | Halliday profile

Curtis Family Vineyards – McLaren Vale, SA

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The Curtis family traces its history back to 1499 when Paolo Curtis was appointed by Cardinal de Medici to administer Papal lands in the area around Cervaro. (The name Curtis is believed to derive from Curtius, a noble and wealthy Roman Empire family.) The family has been growing grapes and making wine in McLaren Vale since 1973, having come to Australia in 1953. – James Halliday.

4 ★ winery | curtisfamilyvineyards.comHalliday profile

HEAD Wines – Barossa Valley, SA

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In 1997, Alex Head finished a degree in biochemistry from Sydney University. Experience in fine wine stores, importers and an auction house was followed by vintage work at Tyrrell’s, Torbreck, Laughing Jack and Cirillo Estate. The names of his flagship reds reflect his fascination with Côte Rôtie in the northern Rhône – the two aspects in this famous appellation are known as Côte Blonde and Côte Brune. Head’s Blonde comes from an east-facing slope in the Stone Well area, while The Brunette comes from a very low-yielding vineyard in the Moppa area. – James Halliday.

5  winery | | Halliday profile

Kirrihill Wines – Clare Valley, SA

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The Kirrihill story started in the late 1990s with a couple of school mates, Sean Edwards and Rob Stanway; what ensued is a now 25-year-old brand that specialises in riesling, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon with the unique characters of the Clare Valley, while also dabbling in alternative varieties. In 2017, the duo became a trio with Matt Lawson becoming partner and Kirrihill also acquired the iconic Schobers Vineyard in Auburn. Grapes are selected from parcels of Kirrihill’s estate and contracted growers to which their French born winemaker, Alexandra Wardlaw, crafts wines with creative passion.  Exports to NZ, UK, US, Canada, China, and South Korea.

3.5 ★ winery | | Halliday profile

O'Leary Walker Wines – Clare Valley, SA

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David O’Leary and Nick Walker together had more than 30 years’ experience as winemakers working for some of the biggest Australian wine groups when they took the plunge in 2000 and backed themselves to establish their own winery and brand. Initially the principal focus was on the Clare Valley with 10ha of riesling, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon the main plantings; thereafter attention swung to the Adelaide Hills where they now have 35ha of chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, shiraz, sauvignon blanc and merlot. The vineyards were certified organic in 2013. Exports to the UK, Ireland, Canada, UAE, Asia, and Japan. – James Halliday.

5 ★ winery | olearywalkerwines.comHalliday profile

Rymill Coonawarra – Coonawarra, SA

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Rymill Coonawarra was established in 1974 by Peter Rymill, great-grandson of John Riddoch, the founder of Coonawarra over 120 years ago. Their vines sit on an ancient coastline, about one million years old, the limestone of which is topped with a precious layer of terra rossa soil, famous for its ability to grow and produce red wines of strength, power and defined structure. Rymill is committed to sustainability, and uses innovative, low-impact techniques in winemaking. By embracing the environment and caring for healthy vines, their vineyard allows them to capture great flavours in their wines. Their commitment to sustainability is evident with their Sustainable Winegrowing Australia accreditation.

4 ★ winery | | Halliday profile

Sidewood Estate – Adelaide Hills, SA

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Nestled in the breathtaking Adelaide Hills of South Australia is Sidewood Estate. Founded in 2004 by Owen and Cassandra Inglis, this family-owned winery has flourished into a producer of award-winning wines, championing cool-climate styles and varieties from their estate. With a commitment to sustainable practices, Sidewood Estate has become the largest sustainably certified winery in the region. Now with four vineyards in Charleston, Oakbank, Nairne and Echunga, Sidewood produce fruit from 120ha under vine, making them the largest grower/producer in the Adelaide Hills. In 2020 they opened their cellar door and restaurant in the township of Hahndorf, with awarding-winning food, indoor/outdoor dining, games courtyard, luxury day beds and adventure play area for kids.

5  winery | | Halliday profile

WayWood Wines – McLaren Vale, SA

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This is the culmination of Andrew Wood and Lisa Robertson’s wayward odyssey. Andrew left his career as a sommelier in London and retrained as a winemaker, working in Portugal, the UK, Italy and the Granite Belt (an eclectic selection), settling in McLaren Vale in early 2004. Working with Kangarilla Road winery for the next six years, while making small quantities of shiraz, cabernets and tempranillo from purchased grapes, led them to nebbiolo, montepulciano and shiraz. Exports to Canada. – James Halliday.

waywoodwines.comHalliday profile

Western Australia

Fishbone Wines – Margaret River, WA

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Fishbone Wines’ 9.1ha vineyard includes chardonnay, tempranillo and cabernet sauvignon; and newer plantings of malbec, vermentino and pinot noir. The Fishbone wines are created with minimal intervention. The range includes the ‘accessible’ Blue Label range, single vineyard Black Label range and the ‘icon’ Joseph River wines. – James Halliday.

winery | | Halliday profile

Fraser Gallop Estate – Margaret River, WA

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In 1999, Nigel Gallop began planting what is now just over 20ha of cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay (6.8ha each) as well as semillon, petit verdot, cabernet franc, malbec, merlot and sauvignon blanc. The wines have been made by Clive Otto since 2007, and in that time have amassed an impressive array of domestic and international acclaim. The house style is very much on the precise, pure end of the spectrum, with the flagship white (the Palladian Chardonnay) routinely coming in at lower alcohol than many. The Parterre range offers consistent, indelible, compelling value for money. Exports to the UK, Czech Republic, Sweden, Germany, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and Singapore. – Erin Larkin.

5 winery | | Halliday profile

McHenry Hohnen Vintners – Margaret River, WA

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McHenry Hohnen was founded on the belief that the Margaret River region is capable of producing some of the very best single-site wines in the world. Each vineyard offers their winemaking team an array of soils and microclimates to explore. Their grape growing philosophy is anchored in organic and biodynamic farming and the principles of regenerative agriculture. They seek to maximise the natural diversity of flora and fauna in their soils, cover crops, riparian areas and remnant bushland. In doing so they aim to embrace the uniqueness of each site and create wines that are a true representation of place and time.

5  winery | | Halliday profile

Willoughby Park – Great Southern, WA

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Bob Fowler, together with wife Marilyn, purchased the former West Cape Howe winery and surrounding vineyard in 2011. Willoughby Park, named after a family member, expanded its production and purchased the Kalgan River vineyard, located inland from Albany with a focus on dry grown premium fruit. Their premium label is IronRock, named after the large amount of natural iron ore found within the property. Kalgan River is their mid-tier range – well-made wines that are an excellent representation of the region and the high calibre fruit on offer. Willoughby Park are their entry level wines – full-bodied, fruit forward wines for every occasion.

4 ★ winery | | Halliday profile


Gala Estate – East Coast, TAS

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This vineyard is situated on a 4000ha sheep station, with the 6th, 7th and 8th generations – headed by Robert and Patricia Greenhill. The 11ha vineyard is heavily skewed to pinot noir (7ha), the remainder planted (in descending order of area) to chardonnay, pinot gris, riesling, shiraz and sauvignon blanc. The main risk is spring frost, and overhead spray irrigation serves two purposes: it provides adequate moisture for early season growth and frost protection at the end of the growing season. – James Halliday.

4 ★ winery | profile

Home Hill – Southern TAS

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Terry and Rosemary Bennett planted their first 0.5ha of vines in 1994 on gentle slopes in the beautiful Huon Valley. The plantings have gradually been increased to 10.2ha, including pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot gris and sylvaner. Home Hill has had great success with its exemplary pinot noirs, consistent multi-trophy and gold medal winners in the ultra-competitive Tasmanian Wine Show. Impressive enough but pales into insignificance in the wake of winning the Jimmy Watson Trophy at the Melbourne Wine Awards 2015. – James Halliday.

5 winery | | Halliday profile

Nocton Vineyard – Southern TAS

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Nocton Vinyeard is nestled in the Coal River Wine Region, and has over 37ha of vines, first planted in 1999. The vines are predominately made up of pinot noir, chardonnay, merlot, chenin blanc and sauvignon blanc. Wines are released under the labels Nocton Estate, Willow Reserve and Storm Bay. 

4 ★ winery | | Halliday profile