James Halliday Wine Companion 2014
James Halliday's Wine Companion is the best known and most comprehensive guide to Australian wine. The latest edition, 2014 has now been published.
What's in the 2014 Edition
All the usual stuff is here...well its not that usual, its an amazing amount of information. The first sixty or so pages give the the big picyure of what's happening in Australian wine - maps of Zones and regions, a summary of vintage conditions in 2013, wine and winery of the year (the winery of the year doesn't neccesarily make the wine of the year) best wines by variety and best wineries, by region and new wineries.
And then the body of the Companion occupies the next six hundred and eighty pages. 1396 wineries are detailed and there are tasting notes for over 4000 wines. Ratings, drink by dates and prices are given for another 2200 wine, these being those whose scores below that required to justify a full tasing note.
I don't always agree with the ratings and scores, in fact, I am very skeptical about their value at all. See my article on Wine Rating Scales here. But the value of the Wine Companion is in the sheer volume of data it contains.
New Wineries in the 2014 Wine Companion
Each year I do a quick trawl through the Companion to chack out the new wineries. These are easily identified because they have a nice vine leaf in the margin. In the 2014 edition there are 94 "new" wineries. These may be new operations, but often they are name changes or wineries that have been flying under the radar for a few years.
Nevertheless I reckon the list of new winereis gives a snapshot of what's happening at the margin of the industry. That's where the innovation is.
Halliday lists 94 New Wineries, and of these the 47 in the lisyt below are using alterntive varieties.
- Altamont Wine Studio Adelaide Hills Grenache, Mourvedre
- Aravina Margaret River Chenin blanc, Vermentino
- Barangaroo Boutique Wines Grampians Vermentino
- Beechworth Wine Estates Beechworth Pinot gris, Sangiovese, Tempranillo
- Bendooley Estate Southern Highlands Pinot gris
- Bilgavia Wines Hunter Valley Fiano, Tempranilo, Verdelho
- Blue Range Estate Mornington Peninsula Pinot gris
- Calico Town Rutherglen Durif, Trebbiano
- Cirami Estate Riverland Durif, Fiano, Lagrein, Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Saperavi, Savagnin, Vermentino
- Courabyra Wines Tumbarumba Pinot gris
- Cradle of Hills McLaren Vale Cinsaut, Grenache, Mourvedre, Viognier
- Di Sciascio Family Wines Heathcote Pinot gris, Sangiovese
- Eldorado Road North East Victoria Durif, Nero d'Avola
- Elliot Rocke Estate Mudgee Doradillo, Gewurztraminer
- Franklin Tate Estate Margaret river Petit verdot, Verdelho, Viognier
- Gooree Park Wines Mudgee Verdelho
- Head in the Clouds Mclaren Vale Grenache, Mourvedre, Pinot Gris, Zinfandel
- Hither and Yon McLaren Vale Aglianico, Nero d'Avola, Tannat
- Houlaghans Valley Wines Gundagai Tempranillo, Viognier
- Jirra Wines at Jeir Station Canberra Sangiovese, Viognier
- Lana King Valley Prosecco
- Levantine Hill Estate Yarra Valley Malbec, Petit verdot
- Lion Mill Vineyards Perth Hills Durif, Graciano, Petit Verdot, Tempranillo, Zinfandel
- Maleny Mountain Wines Queensland Coastal Chambourcin, Durif, Verdelho
- Manyara Vineyard Adelaide Hills Malbec, Petit verdot
- Massey Wines McLaren Vale Grenache, Mourvedre
- Matchbox Wines Clare Valley Malbec
- Mout Buff Wines Alpine valleys Barbera, Durif, Prosecco
- Noble Red Heathcote Durif, Mourvedre, Tempranillo
- Out of Step Yarra Valley Nebbiolo
- PachaMama Heathcote Pinot Gris
- Piano Piano Beechworth Tempranillo, Touriga
- Ramco Wine group Adelaide Zone Rubienne
- Regent Wines Swan Hill Lagrein, Tempranillo, Verdelho, Vermentino, Viognier
- Ringer Reef Winery Alpine Valleys Montepulciano, Moscato gaillo, Nebbiolo, petit manseng, Sangiovese
- Rob Dolan Wines Yarra Valley Pinot gris
- Rojomono Barossa Valley Grenache, Petit Verdot, Tempranillo
- Route du Van Yarra valley Dolcetto, Pinot grigio, Viognier
- Rusty Mutt McLaren Vale Viognier
- Sassy Wines Orange Arneis, Petit Verdot, Pinot gris
- Showblock Estate Southern Fleurieu Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier
- The Hunter Vineyard Hunter Valley Gewurztraminer
- Three Dark Horses McLaren Vale Grenache, Touriga
- Travertine Estate Hunter Valley Chambourcin, Tannat, Verdelho
- Trifon Estate Goulburn Valley Marsanne, Sangiovese
- View Road Wines Adelaide Hills Sagrantino, Sangiovese
- Wine by Sam Strathbogie Ranges Gewurztraminer, Lagrein, Pinot gris, SavagninTempranillo
- Wirruna Geelong Pinot gris
- Woods Crampton Barossa Valley Mourvedre
My overall database continues to grow. I now have about 1860 wineries listed, quite a few are defunct and I am gradually removing them when there seems to be nothing happening for a few years. I am helped in this process by feedback from readers so if I have glaring errors please let me know.
The regional and varietal pages on this site are maintained by hand so it may be some time before the wineries above are listed on their appropriate pages/