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18 SA wineries dominate National Vineyard of the Year awards

South Australia’s wineries are setting the bar high, dominating the 4th Annual Vineyard of the Year Awards with a staggering 18 finalists, showcasing the state’s unparalleled excellence in viticulture.

Image Credit: Yalumba Winery

South Australia’s wineries are setting the bar high, dominating the 4th Annual Vineyard of the Year Awards with a staggering 18 finalists, showcasing the state’s unparalleled excellence in viticulture.

Amidst the challenges of fluctuating weather, market oversaturation, and economic pressures, these vineyards emerge as beacons of innovation, sustainability, and sheer resilience.

The Vineyard of the Year Awards, now in its fourth iteration, shines a spotlight on Australia’s most forward-thinking winegrowers. Designed to enhance the regional identity of Australian wine, the awards celebrate sustainability, innovation, and the distinctive character of wine-growing regions.

Max Allen, an awards panelist, underscores the importance of these accolades in today’s challenging climate. “Despite the myriad of challenges our winegrowers face today, the Vineyard of the Year Awards offer a glimmer of hope. They highlight the extraordinary efforts of those dedicated to regenerative viticulture, showcasing the resilience, optimism, and ingenuity at the heart of our wine community,” he notes.

Selecting the cream of the crop from over 6,000 grape-growers nationwide was no small feat. Entries have poured in since July, with the panel diligently reviewing each submission. The top 41 vineyards were chosen for embodying the awards’ core values: sustainability, innovation, provenance, and producing exceptional wine.

This year’s panel, featuring esteemed experts like Prue Henschke and Dr. Kerry DeGaris, was tasked with the challenging yet rewarding job of identifying these top vineyards. Their dedication reflects a commitment to advancing Australia’s wine industry, ensuring its growth and sustainability for generations to come.

Prue Henschke, reflecting on the selection, emphasized the broader impact of these awards. “By bringing these vineyards to the forefront, we’re not just celebrating their achievements but also advocating for environmental stewardship and community sustainability. These vineyards are leading the way, showing that it’s possible to produce world-class wines while caring for our planet and people.”

The strong showing by South Australian vineyards underscores the region’s status as a powerhouse in the Australian wine industry. With a diverse array of winners ranging from the iconic Barossa Valley to the scenic McLaren Vale, it’s clear that South Australia’s wine-growing heritage and innovative practices continue to thrive.

The awards also provide an invaluable platform for these vineyards to showcase their unique stories and practices at upcoming trade events across Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne. As the wine industry looks to the future, the Vineyard of the Year Awards serve as a reminder of the passion, dedication, and talent that fuels Australia’s wine-growing community.

The 4th Annual Vineyard of the Year Awards

South Australia

  • Alkina Wine Estate, Barossa Valley (Johnny Schuster & Amelia Nolan)
  • Ashton Hills, Piccadilly Valley (Jose Neves & Anton Groffen)
  • Cape Jaffa Wines Vineyard, Mount Benson (Hamish Stevenson)
  • Castine-Morella Vineyard, Clare Valley (Ben Castine & Jess Smythe-Castine)
  • Dallwitz Block Vineyard, Barossa (Adrian Hoffman)
  • Inkwell Vineyard, McLaren Vale (Irina Santiago-Brown)
  • Koomilya Vineyard, McLaren Vale (Stephen Pannell)
  • Land of Tomorrow – Grindstone Vineyard, Wrattonbully (Susie Harris)
  • Longview Vineyard, Adelaide Hills (Chris Mein)
  • Ngeringa – Summit Vineyard, Adeliade Hills (Erinn Klein)
  • Orbis Wines Vineyard, McLaren Vale (Macca Mackenzie, Brad Moyes & Lauren Langfield)
  • Paxton Wines – Thomas Block Vineyard, McLaren Vale (David Paxton)
  • Penley Estate, Coonawarra (Hans Loder)
  • Smallfry Wines – Vine Vale Vineyard, Barossa Valley (Wayne Ahrens & Suzi Hilder)
  • Starrs Reach Vineyard, Riverland (Sheridan Alm)
  • Stonegarden, Eden Valley (Glen Monaghan)
  • Wirra Wirra Vineyard, McLaren Vale (Jose Neves & Anton Groffen)
  • Yalumba – The Tri-Centenary Vineyard, Barossa Valley (Jana Shepherd)


  • Chalmers Heathcote Vineyard, Heathcote (Troy McInnes)
  • Crittenden Home Vineyard, Mornington Peninsula (Rollo Crittenden)
  • Glenhope Vineyard, Macedon Ranges (Scott Harrington)
  • Gorton Drive Estate, Swan Hill (Chris Dent)
  • Lakeside Vineyard – Lake Moodemere Estate, Rutherglen (Joel Chambers)
  • Portsea Estate – Main Ridge Vineyard, Mornington Peninsula (Matt Lugg)
  • Foxeys Hangout – Scotsworth Farm, Mornington Peninsula (Chris Strickland)
  • Syrahmi Home Block Vineyard, Heathcote (Adam Foster)
  • Yarra Yering, Yarra Valley (Andrew George)

New South Wales/ACT

  • Barwang Vineyard, Hilltops (James Bowman & Scott Douglas)
  • Freeman – Altura Vineyard, Hilltops (Brian Freeman)
  • Brokenwood – Graveyard Vineyard, Hunter Valley (Katrina Barry)
  • Keith Tulloch – Field of Mars Vineyard, Hunter Valley (Brent Hutton)
  • Stockman’s Ridge Wines, Orange (Jonathan Hambrook)
  • Topper’s Mountain Vineyard, New England (Mark Kirkby)
  • Vinden Wines Somerset Vineyard, Pokolbin, Hunter Valley (Angus Vinden)

Western Australia

  • 467 Twenty Four Road, Margaret River (Claudia Gant)
  • Gralyn Estate, Margaret River (Scott Baxter)
  • McHenry Hohnen – Hazel’s Vineyard, Margaret River (Simon Keall)
  • Riversdale Vineyard, Frankland River (Larry Cherubino, Jonno Reeve & Dwayne Loitering)


  • Mewstone, Tasmania (Alex McLean)
  • Stargazer – Palisander Vineyard, Tasmania (Bryn Williams)
  • Small Wonder, Tasmania (Wayne Nunn & Dylan Grigg)

South Australia’s vineyards, in particular, stand as shining examples of what it means to blend tradition with innovation, solidifying the state’s reputation as a leader in the global wine industry.

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