By Amy Looker, editor National Liquor News

The inaugural James Halliday Australian Wine Companion Awards took place in Melbourne on Wednesday night, recognising Australia’s leading wineries, both large and small. 

Presented in association with the Wine Companion magazine and Hardie Grant Publishing, the awards were created to highlight outstanding quality in the Australian wine industry ahead of the release of the 2014 James Halliday Australian Wine Companion. 

“The time was right to celebrate the Australian wine industry’s finest,” Halliday explained. 

“We’ve never before had a ceremony like this and it’s a fantastic way to recognise those wines and producers that are truly remarkable. It’s been a great year for over-performers.” 

The four major awards of the evening were Winery of the Year, which was presented to Penfolds; Wine of the Year, which went to the 2010 Bass Phillip Reserve Pinot Noir; Dark Horse of the Year, awarded to Singlefile Wines; and New Winery of the Year, which was awarded to Rob Dolan Wines. 

The invitation-only special event was held at principal sponsor Zagame Automotive in Melbourne’s Richmond, with 200 guests enjoying a four-course degustation accompanied by some of the award-winning wines. 

To view the full list of winners, click here

The Shout Team

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

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