The inaugural Halliday Wine Companion Top 100 Wineries selected by Campbell Mattinson is a celebration of the best wineries of right now. Below is the list of wineries ranked from 51 to 75 from across Australia.
"In short, this is a list of producers who know, in their heart and in their head, that consumers don’t owe them a living. This is a list of producers who are prepared to stake their reputation on every single wine they release." – chief editor Campbell Mattinson
Seville Estate | Bondar Wines | Bekkers | L.A.S. Vino | Curly Flat | Savaterre | Collector Wines | Brokenwood | Stella Bella Wines | Shaw + Smith | Neldner Road | Pepper Tree Wines | De Bortoli (Yarra Valley) | Garagiste | Paringa Estate | Domenica Wines | Stargazer Wine | Crittenden Estate | Mayer | Flametree | Rieslingfreak | Castle Rock Estate | Torbreck Vintners | Eldorado Road | Delamere Vineyards
51. Seville EstateYarra Valley, Victoria
It’s often forgotten that Seville Estate is one of the pioneers of the modern Yarra Valley, established as it was in 1972. More pertinently here though is that the wine range, crafted by Dylan McMahon (grandson of the founders), is currently singing the brightest and most complex of tunes. The quality across the range is high.
52. Bondar WinesMcLaren Vale, South Australia
Forget, if you can, the fact that few wineries can match Bondar on value – not easy given that no less than nine of its wines were awarded the Special Value icon in the current Companion. Instead, concentrate on the fact that Bondar’s McLaren Vale wines are full of energy, drive, fruit power and more. Bondar’s wines are of such relentless quality that everything produced here is almost guaranteed to be good.
53. BekkersMcLaren Vale, South Australia
The rise of this winery over the past 10 or so years has been quite something. This is a winery with no commercial compromise: it is dedicated to the top tier only, and to everything required to produce top tier wine. It shows in the glass. These McLaren Vale wines, shiraz and grenache, are luscious on the one hand, and detailed on the other.
54. L.A.S. VinoMargaret River, Western Australia
Given that Nic Peterkin’s family lineage includes both Cullen and Pierro, it’s no surprise that the wines he produces are rooted in the soundest of foundations, and are never anything other than high quality. But from there, all bets are off, and anything is possible. If Peterkin were a footballer he’d bob and weave through traffic as if it were hardly there. He has an innate feel for wine; he impresses, he disrupts, he creates drama in the glass across a range of usual and not-so-usual Margaret River suspects.
55. Curly FlatMacedon Ranges, Victoria
A fresh eye is rarely a bad thing, and so it has turned out with the appointment of gun winemaker Matt Harrop here after the long reign of founding winemaker Phil Moraghan. Harrop has taken the accumulated goodness of a couple of decades and dissected it, separated it, and thereafter unveiled yet more interest, in the glass, from this prime Macedon site. It’s as though the full fascination of this site is now, slowly, being unveiled. All three 2021 pinot noirs – Central, Western and Estate – are excellent.
56. SavaterreBeechworth, Victoria
A long time ago now, in the mid 1990s, Keppel Smith found a dry, expansive, commanding property in the Beechworth region, with clear sight lines across to the Victoria Alps and planted it to chardonnay and pinot noir, which he later extended to shiraz and sagrantino. Every year is tough in this hot-cold, old-young region, and every year or thereabouts Smith produces beautiful wine, classically styled, of genuine distinction.
57. Collector WinesCanberra District, New South Wales
Quiet achievers are often the keepers, and the wines of Collector Wines are exactly that. Canberra’s Collector Wines never seems to make a great deal of fuss and yet every year, in the glass, it’s showtime, with gorgeously funky chardonnay and stellar cool-climate shiraz as its flagbearers but with ample interest among its less-common-variety releases, fiano and grüner veltliner chief among them.
58. BrokenwoodHunter Valley, New South Wales
The current range of this iconic Hunter Valley producer is in stunning form, with numerous examples of chardonnay, semillon and shiraz – grown principally in the Hunter Valley, McLaren Vale and Beechworth – all reaching for the stars. Brokenwood has been a key member of the Australian wine community for 53 years now; it’s never been in better form.
Margaret River, Western Australia
We’re continually blown away by the quality of Stella Bella’s Margret River wines, particularly at the top end (chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon) though all the way through, from the $28 Pinot Grigio to the Otro Vino Rosé and more. In short, if you’re thinking quality Margaret River, Stella Bella should be high on your list.
60. Shaw + SmithAdelaide Hills, South Australia
It seems like eons ago that the sauvignon blanc of this producer first caused a commercial splash, though the quality of the wines released from this Adelaide Hills outfit has done nothing but go from strength to strength throughout the course of its 30+ years of existence. Chardonnay and shiraz are elite here; pinot noir and riesling, as well as the original sauvignon blanc, are all reliably good or better.
61. Neldner RoadBarossa Valley, South Australia
It’s impossible to mention Neldner Road, the winery of Dave Powell, without mentioning that Powell is ex Torbreck, and ex Powell & Son. Powell has history, as do the Barossa and Eden valley vineyards he works with, as does the extraordinary bank of wines he’s brought to market over the years. The wines of Neldner Road are as compelling as any Powell has produced.
Hunter Valley, New South Wales
When I look back at my Pepper Tree notes over the past decade or more I see a long line of single-vineyard wines, from both the Hunter Valley and Wrattonbully regions, released both young and at peak maturity, a great many of which are of outstanding quality. The vision here is clear and sustained; the execution brilliant. This place is a treasure trove of fine wine.
Yarra Valley, Victoria
De Bortoli is known for many things to many varied people, but the truth is that De Bortoli’s Yarra Valley arm is a powerhouse of fine wine, full stop, hands down, no arguments. There are interesting wines littered throughout the portfolio but chardonnay, shiraz, cabernet and pinot noir, all of which reach for the extreme end of the quality spectrum, are the high marks.
64. GaragisteMornington Peninsula, Victoria
Any Australian producer who makes a high quality fist of the white wine variety aligoté is likely to be a producer of note, as does Garagiste, and so it’s no surprise that the quality of the chardonnays and pinot noirs on offer here are exceptional. Garagiste is a seriously good wine producer and, even better, deems value to be of high importance too.
65. Paringa EstateMornington Peninsula, Victoria
Paringa Estate has been an outstanding producer for so long that it’s almost taken for granted. It should never be. Its pinot noir and chardonnay in particular have been regional benchmarks for more than 25 years, and their quality remains as strong as ever. Indeed, if anything, the wines have improved over the years, as the outstanding quality of the fruit has been afforded a clearer run. Both up and down the price range here, fine wine is always delivered.
66. Domenica WinesBeechworth, Victoria
Wake up and smell the tar and roses – to coin a phrase. Anyone who can grow and nurture high quality nebbiolo in Australia is a vigneron of the highest order, and that’s exactly what Peter Graham of Domenica Wines regularly performs. Chardonnay, gamay and shiraz are also specialties, as you’d expect of a Beechworth producer, but that nebbiolo, wow, it has the moves.
67. Stargazer WineTasmania
Samantha Connew has done it all as both a wine producer and as a contributor to the overall wine community but the rubber has really hit the road with her Tasmanian endeavour, Stargazer, which is nothing short of outstanding. There are few more exciting producers in the land right now. Riesling, pinot noir, chardonnay all sit at the top of the quality tree but where she really gets the grapes to talk is with her blends – both white and red. Seek Stargazer out.
Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
Crittenden Estate can always be relied upon to produce good or excellent wine across the board. It does traditional wine styles as well or better than most. But the wines to really lift it into the clouds are its Cri de Coeur range, all of which excel, most especially the nutty, quixotic, Savagnin that has promptly risen to icon status in the space of just a few years.
69. MayerYarra Valley, Victoria
Mayer is one of Australian wine’s best kept secrets. This tiny Yarra Valley outfit produced two 97-point wines in the current Companion, and six 96-point wines, and also took out the Pinot Gris of the Year title. Shiraz, chardonnay, pinot noir, nebbiolo and cabernet sauvignon – as well as pinot gris – all excel in this range.
70. FlametreeMargaret River, Western Australia
Anyone who can produce a 96-point sauvignon blanc (SRS Karridale 2021) is worthy of the utmost respect, though of course there are many more highlights on this producer’s reel. Flametree falls into the ‘every egg a bird’ category, where every wine produced is very good or better. For evidence, the 2022 SRS Chardonnay is absolute top drawer.
71. RieslingfreakClare Valley, South Australia
Complete and utter dedication to riesling, from the Eden and Clare valleys, made with meticulous care, thought and more. Every year, a whole host of different rieslings, each with its own reason for being. Modern Australian wine would be lesser without this single producer. Rieslingfreak is not just a quirk; it’s an essential.
Porongurup, Western Australia
Stunning riesling across a range of styles, pinot noir of intensity and length, chardonnay of true character. Castle Rock in the Porongurup region of Western Australia always roars its quality in the most consistent and compelling of ways.
Barossa Valley, South Australia
No matter the season, Torbreck delivers. The Struie and Cuvée Juveniles have long been favourites for drinking but when it comes to the delivery of rich flavour-shot-through-with-exotic-spice, the big hitters of The Laird, RunRig, The Factor (all made with shiraz) and Les Amis Grenache really do take some beating. Yes these are all hedonistic but they’re more than that.
74. Eldorado RoadBeechworth, Victoria
Flavour, balance, history, story, and respect. Eldorado Road delivers everything a wine lover could wish for, and it does so without ever placing a misstep, without ever offering anything other than honest, well-styled, well-textured flavours, across both reds and whites. The jewel in its crown, the incredibly rare Perseverance Shiraz, is everything a flag bearing wine should be.
Northern Tasmania, Tasmania
This estate produces champion quality sparkling and pinot noir, no doubt, but its chardonnay, really, is the real accelerant to the excellence of this brand. When Tasmanian chardonnay is good it’s as good as the chardonnay from anywhere in the world, and Delamere chardonnay is good.
Join us at the Top 100 Wineries tasting events in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne next month. Don't miss your chance to taste wines from some of the nation's best producers.
Wednesday November 15