10 of the best new wineries

James Halliday by James Halliday

26 Jul, 2018

Each of these wineries achieved a five-star rating for its first appearance in the Halliday Wine Companion guide – no small feat.

Best New Winery: Mewstone

Tasmanian-born brothers Jonathan 'Jonny' Hughes and Matthew Hughes put their hearts and heads together to launch Mewstone Wines in 2011, and their business savvy and passion have seen their little winery on the bank of the D'Entrecasteaux Channel go from strength to strength. Read the full story from James Halliday.  

Brave Souls Wine

It’s clear that if Julia Weirich decides to do anything, it will happen no matter how improbable it may seem. She possesses a formidable intelligence, but it’s her person-to-person lightness of touch that wins the day. The name of the winery is derived from the 1859 shipwreck of the SS Admella, with its label design illustrating the bravery of three men who risked their lives to save those on board.

Dune Wine

I am smitten by these wines. I writhe in agony about not having given them higher points and not buying more – the latter purely due to a cellar full of wine and only a brief time left to drink more than a token quantity of it. This isn’t a part of the Coriole winery brand per se, but it certainly has the commitment of the Lloyd family, as well as its sense of humour.

Levrier by Jo Irvine

What do Jo Irvine and I have in common? The only person in the world able to answer that question is myself, and not – as you might guess – Jo. Because I’m sure that she doesn’t know that 50 years ago I was a part-owner of two greyhounds, neither of which were as fast as those they raced against... 

Nick Spencer Wines

Gundagai in New South Wales has long been in need of a Pied Piper calling winemakers to cross its borders and put down their roots, and – after an exotic flying winemaker career (including time in Kakheti in Georgia) – Nick Spencer has finally taken the plunge. Spencer also has a side bet on the much cooler, nearby Tumbarumba region.

Rikard Wines

William Rikard-Bell made headlines in 2008 for all the wrong reasons when an explosion at Drayton’s Family Wines in the Hunter Valley killed two and left William with life-threatening burns to 70 per cent of his body. His first job had been in Orange and, after a prolonged recovery, it was there that he returned to in ’11 with wife Kimberley and their two daughters.

Sherrah Wines

Having gained a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and pharmacology, Alex Sherrah set off to see the world. Returning broke, he managed to secure various jobs at Tatachilla – at one stage he worked each Friday until knock-off time for the weekly barbecue, earning him the nickname ‘Boy Friday’.


When Adam Louder and partner Nancy Panter were trying to come up with a name for their winery-to-be, a dictionary fell open at the page reading, ‘happening or done in secret – origin Latin “under the rose” (the rose an emblem of secrecy)’. Cryptic crossword fare, and more wines like those of their first release will steal the limelight.

Turon Wines

Winemaker Turon White has upturned the usual pattern of new entrants finding a place to make their wines in a packing shed or a come-and-go shared space in an existing winery. He has designed and built a winery on the vineyard site for his wines, and for those of other small makers.

Walsh & Sons

I cannot resist comparing Walsh & Sons with Burgundy where families intermingle – and through marriage, death or other reasons, split or agglomerate parcels of vineyards during the lifetime of all those directly or indirectly involved...

These extracts are an abbreviated version of the stories that appear in the 2019 Halliday Wine Companion. Refer to the guide for the full write up.

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2019 Halliday Wine Companion New Winery