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That’s grape! Two of the top wineries in Australia are right here in NSW

The country’s leading authority on Aussie vino has just announced its 2025 Awards shortlist – and NSW’s wineries are raking in accolades

Avril Treasure
Written by
Avril Treasure

From the Hunter Valley’s citrusy semillon to Orange’s creamy chardonnay and Mudgee’s velvety merlot, New South Wales is home to some of Australia’s best grown-up grape juice. And it’s not just us saying it. Halliday Wine Companion, the leading authority on Aussie wine, has just announced its 2025 Awards shortlist – and NSW wineries are cleaning up. In fact, two of the country’s six top wineries are found right here in NSW: Silkman Wines and Brokenwood, both located in the picturesque Hunter Valley. Road trip, anyone?

Couple sits in vineyard drinking wine.
Photograph: Supplied

The fun doesn't stop there. Liz Silkman from the Hunter’s Silkman Wines was also shortlisted for Winemaker of the Year for her award-winning semillon, chardonnay and shiraz.

Justin Jarrett from Orange’s See Saw Wines was nominated for Viticulturist of the Year, with the Orange winery also being nominated for Dark Horse Winery. Time Out Sydney visited See Saw Wines in April and met Jarrett, so we can attest to the fact that he’s a true-blue legend, and his wines – made alongside head winemaker Monica Gray – are delicious (the prosecco was our fave!). Orange got another nod, as ChaLou was also shortlisted for Dark Horse Winery, and if that doesn’t call for a weekend getaway to the regional city, we don’t know what will (check out our guide for the best things to do).

Liz and Shaun Silkman
Photograph: Supplied/Silkman Wines

So, how did Halliday decide on the finalists? In March, the Halliday Tasting Team – made up of founder James Halliday, chief editor Campbell Mattinson, Dave Brookes, Jane Faulkner, Jeni Port, Marcus Ellis, Mike Bennie from Sydney’s P&V Merchants, Philip Rich, Shanteh Wale and Toni Paterson – reviewed more than 7,500 wines from more than 1,100 wineries to recognise the best of the best from Australia's industry. Basically, they drank a heck of a lot of the stuff.

The winners of the seven major trophies, including Wine of the Year, Best Value Winery and Best New Winery, will be announced at a ceremony held in Melbourne on Wednesday, August 7, 2024.

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The Halliday Wine Companion has served as the definitive guide to Aussie vino for close to 30 years – so these nominations are a Pretty Big Deal for vino-fiends and the industry, including all the passionate and hard-working winemakers and producers.

All we can say is this: c’mon NSW!

You can check out the 2025 Halliday Wine Companion Shortlist and vote for People’s Choice here.

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Want more wine? Get around the coolest wine bars in Sydney here.

What about food? These are the best restaurants in the city here.

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