By Amy Looker, editor National Liquor News

The finalists in the 2014 Hunter Valley Legends and Wine Industry Awards have been announced, with the winners to be named at a gala dinner at Wyndham Estate on Thursday 29 May.

Now in its eighth year, the awards honour the achievements of the wine industry across the Hunter Valley region in the categories of Winemaker of the Year, Rising Star of the Year, Viticulturist of the Year and Cellar Door of the Year. 

The Hunter Valley Heritage Award, sponsored by Brian and Fay McGuigan, will also be presented on the evening, honouring the Hunter Valley’s history as Australia’s oldest commercial wine region.

The winners of each category are judged by a panel of past winners, industry leaders and guest media judge, Patrick Haddock.

Finalists for Winemaker of the Year, sponsored by First Creek Winemaking Services, are Jim Chatto of McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant, Andrew Margan of Margan Family Wines, Andrew Thomas of Thomas Wines and Usher Tinkler of Tinklers Wine/Crush House.

The Rising Star of the Year finalists, sponsored by Riedel, recognises an aspiring star of the Hunter Valley wine industry, with Stuart Hordern of Brokenwood Wines, Jessica McLeish of McLeish Estate Wines, and Belinda Stapleton of Spicers Vineyard Estate all nominated this year.

Nominees for Viticulturist of the Year, sponsored by Laffort Australia, include Will Capper of Hunter Valley Vineyard Management, Louise Eather of Wyndham Estate, Andrew Margan of Margan Family Wines, and Andrew Pengilly from Tyrrell’s Vineyards.

Lastly, Bimbadgen, Oakvale Wines and Tulloch Wines are all nominated for Cellar Door of the Year, sponsored by CBA Local Business Banking.

Tickets for the gala dinner are still available and cost $160 per person. Contact for more information.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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