The Real Review Top Wineries of Australia have been named, following a year-long tasting process of over 10,000 wines.

Yarra Valley-based Oakridge Wines took out the top spot of Winery of the Year, increasing 17 places on its 2022 showing. This was the third year in a row that a Victorian winery has won the award, with Yarra Yering topping the list in 2021, followed by Wien by Farr last year.

Huon Hooke, the Principal Wine Writer at the Real Review hailed the diversity of producers ranking highly in the list.

“The Top Wineries of Australia 2023 is the best of the best in Australian wine. Wineries of all scale feature at the top, emphasising that the quality of the wine alone defines a winery’s placement on this ranking,” Hooke said.

“Oakridge, and its talented winemaker David Bicknell, consistently deliver a range of benchmark quality wines, but it’s Bicknell’s wizardry with chardonnay that sets Oakridge at the top. He is one of the greats of the Yarra Valley, and his refined releases this past year deserve the Winery of the Year title.”

Bicknell expressed his pride at taking home the title, and tipped his hat to the work of his team.

“Being recognised like this makes all the hard work going back many years, so very worthwhile. Gratifying. We have good vineyards that we think are still improving, but most importantly, a highly skilled team with loads of experience,” the winemaker said.

“This is recognition for the entire Oakridge team. They are committed to giving their very best every day and deeply care about this place. And you can’t ask for more than that.”

Oakridge is part of the Endeavour Group’s fine wine stable, Paragon Wine Estates. Endeavour Group CEO and Managing Director, Steve Donohue, reflected on the winery’s success.

“This is a special moment for the whole team at Oakridge, who have set the bar so high for winemaking and hospitality in such an iconic Australian wine region,” Donohue said.

“Oakridge is the jewel in the Yarra Valley’s crown and we feel so incredibly lucky to be custodians of this incredible winery.

“Congratulations to David Bicknell and everyone at Oakridge on this well-deserved recognition.”

Major movers

Perhaps the most interesting story from the ranking was Eisenstone Wines, which only opened in 2014. The Barossa winery rose from number 238 in 2022, to finish fourth in 2023, joining the likes of Morris (second), Penfolds (third) and Wendouree (fifth) in the top five.

“Eisenstone is one of the most exciting new wineries to emerge in the last few years. Stephen Cook has a laser-sharp focus on producing mind-blowing shiraz, and what a line-up he’s released with the 2020 collection,” Hooke said.

Other major movers were Adelaide Hills’ Murdoch Hill, which leaped up from number 195 in 2022 to 41 this year, while Coldstream Hills in the Yarra Valley placed at 25, having come in 250 places further back last time round. Sparkling wine specialist, House of Arras, went from 197 to 19.

Overall, 344 wineries received the Top Wineries Certificate, roughly 15 per cent of the wineries in Australia. The list was dominated by South Australian wineries, accounting for 38 per cent of entries (the Barossa Valley alone provided 12 per cent of the total list), while Victorian producers made up 26 per cent.

Fifty-four producers made the list for the first time in 2023. The Real Review’s Top Wineries of Australia is updated annually, via an in-house algorithm which weighs up recency and rating of reviews by the publication’s panel of wine critics.

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