James Halliday (left) with Ian and Hilde Ranson.

WA tops Halliday wine awards

Thursday, 2 August, 2018 - 12:46

Great Southern wine producer Duke's Vineyard and Deep Wood Estate’s Julian Langworthy have topped the prestigious Halliday Wine Companion Awards announced in Melbourne last night. 

The award winners were named ahead of publication of the Halliday Wine Companion 2019.

Porongurup-based Duke’s received the award for its 2017 Magpie Hill Riesling, which scored 99 points under James Halliday’s scoring system.

It was the first white wine to win the award and post a score that high.

The winery is run by Ian and Hilde Ranson, who planted the first vine in 1999 as part of their retirement plans.

Since the first vintage in 2001, Duke’s has won a number of awards, including at the Sydney Royal Wine Show, and has been in Halliday’s top 100 wines since 2013.

The Great Southern winery now manages 10 hectares of riesling, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz.   

Mr Langworthy from Margaret River’s Deep Wood Estate was the other major winner from WA.

He is the chief winemaker for the Fogarty Wine Group, which also operates Millbrook Winery in the Perth Hills, Pemberton’s Smithbrook, and Lake’s Folly in the Hunter Valley.

Mr Langworthy manages a team of 12 winemakers across those four producers.   


He is the first winemaker from Margaret River, and the second winemaker from WA, to be awarded winemaker of the year by James Halliday.

Fogarty Wine Group chairman Peter Fogarty congratulated Mr Langworthy and his team.

“This award is a testament to the outstanding capability and work ethic of Julian,” Mr Fogarty said.

“It highlights the team leadership qualities and winemaking skills Julian has put in place since he joined our group.

“Julian and the team at Deep Woods can be proud of this award as we continue to produce some of Australia’s most awarded cabernets, chardonnays and rosés.”

Other major award winners were Victorian winery Seville Estate (winery of the year), Geelong-based producer Provenance Wines (best value winery of the year), Tasmanian outfit Mewstone Wines (best new winery), and Principia Wines, also from Victoria (dark horse of the year).

Other WA winners from the awards night included Denmark-based Singlefile, which won best chardonnay for its 2015 Vivienne Denmark chardonnay, along with Cullen Wines' 2015 Vanya cabernet sauvignon.