Your new-look Tasting Team

By J'aime Cardillo

17 Aug, 2023

We're thrilled to introduce two new members of the Halliday Tasting Team.

It is with great pleasure that we announce we have two new panelists joining the Halliday Tasting Team – Toni Paterson MW and Marcus Ellis.

Toni's regions will be Pyrenees in Victoria, along with NSW's Hunter Valley (Broke Fordwich, Pokolbin, the Hunter Valley and Upper Hunter Valley), while Marcus will be the regional specialist for McLaren Vale in South Australia.

We asked chief editor Campbell Mattinson about the strength and knowledge each bring to the Tasting Team:

"There are very few people in the Australian wine landscape who can match the credentials of Toni Paterson MW. In fact she pretty much stands alone. She passed her MW qualification on her first attempt (rare in itself) and has been a constant and refreshing voice of reason and rigour on all things wine for the past 20 plus years. When Toni Patterson talks wine, people listen.

"Marcus Ellis knows the Australian food and wine scene like few others; he knows it from all angles, and has been a beautiful communicator of this knowledge over the course of the past 20 plus years, both behind the scenes in the wine trade and in the public eye. I have no doubt that readers will love Marcus' insight, writing style and voice."

Philip, Dave, Shanteh, Mike, Jeni, James, Jane and CampbellThe Halliday Tasting Team welcome two new members in Toni Paterson MW and Marcus Ellis.

With the the release of the 2024 Companion comes the end of Ned Goodwin MW's tenure with the Tasting Team – we thank Ned for his fierce contribution to Wine Companion over the past six and a half years and wish him the very best in his new role as senior editor at James Suckling.

Making up your Tasting Team for the 2025 Companion is Campbell Mattinson, James Halliday AM, Dave Brookes, Jane Faulkner, Jeni Port, Marcus Ellis, Mike Bennie, Philip Rich, Shanteh Wale, and Toni Paterson MW.

Toni Paterson MW

About Toni Paterson MW

Toni Paterson MW is a leading Australian wine judge, commentator, and critic. Her obsession with wine spans three decades, with her knowledge and passion underpinned by tertiary training in oenology and science.

She has been a member of the Institute of Masters of Wine for two decades, passing the rigorous examination on her first attempt. She was awarded the prestigious Madame Lily Bollinger Medal for tasting excellence, joining an elite group of three Australian recipients.

Toni has a comprehensive understanding of the global wine industry, having worked locally as a winemaker and internationally in public relations and marketing. Her involvement in the Wine List of the Year Awards in Australia and China gives her deep insights into the importance of wine in the restaurant industry.

Toni's lengthy wine judging career within Australia and abroad gives her a unique perspective on style, trends, and vintage character. In addition to international judging stints, she is the chair of judges and panel chair at a host of local wine shows.

Toni has contributed to countless publications advising wine lovers on what to try, buy, drink and cellar. During her writing career she has authored three consumer wine guides and has profiled many Australian winemakers and vineyards.

Regional focus: Hunter Valley and Pyrenees


Marcus Ellis

About Marcus Ellis

Marcus Ellis has worked in wine and food all his working life – a little over 30 years. In that time he has moved through roles that have bridged the industry – from running significant wine lists through retail, wholesale and importing roles, along with writing, editing and hosting events.

He ran the acclaimed wine program at the Melbourne Wine Room – a seminal venue that helped establish a robust local wine bar culture and was awarded national Wine List of the Year in 2000 – for over a decade, while establishing a sister restaurant as a business partner.

Marcus has written and edited across a broad range of both food and wine content for books, print media and digital publications. Marcus is currently the wine director for Melbourne’s HQ Group, editor and writer for Young Gun of Wine – working across feature articles, regional profiles, tasting notes, and the Vineyard of the Year Awards, along with winemaker and venue content. Marcus also hosts panel tastings with industry leaders, works with a leading artisan Italian wine importer, and consults and writes for wineries and wholesalers.

Regional focus: McLaren Vale


Submissions for the 2025 Companion are now open.