Presenting partners, Gourmet Traveller WINE and the Australian Liquor Industry's the drinks Association today announced fermentAsian in Tanunda, South Australia as winner of the Australia's Wine List of the Year for 2016.

“fermentAsian's remarkable list has struck a chord with the judges (domestically and Internationally), perhaps in much the same way that it has charmed those who have flocked to this restaurant in the small Barossa village of Tanunda over the past five years,” said chairman of judges, Peter Forrestal.

As the sommelier responsible for the winning list, Grant Dickson also receives the Judy Hirst Award, presented in memory of the woman who helped establish these awards. 

“Judy Hirst would have loved the unlikely scenario of a musician taking on the role of sommelier and restaurant manager and growing a list organically. Grant Dickson is a musician who combines an ear for poetry, a penchant for wine history and a delight in sourcing the obscure and improbable: and producing a commentary on the wines which breathes life into an extraordinary list,” added Forrestal.

The State and Territory winners this year were Rubicon (ACT) and fermentAsian (SA) for the third time; Jonah's (NSW) and Lalla Rookh Wine Store (WA) for the second time; and the Botanical (Vic), Stokehouse Q (Qld) and Stillwater (Tasmania) for the first time. 

Headed by wine writer and commentator Peter Forrestal, the panel of over 30 includes Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine such as Brian Julyan MS, founder of The Court of Master Sommeliers and CEO Europe; past World’s Best Sommelier, Gerard Basset OBE, MS, MW, MBA; Cameron Douglas MS; Toni Paterson MW; James Lawther MW;  Andrew Caillard MW, plus wine writers and commentators including Jeni Port, Mike Bennie, Huon Hooke, Peter Bourne, Sophie Otton and Louise Radma, as well as the President of Sommeliers Australia, represented this year by Mark Protheroe, and the previous year’s winner of the Judy Hirst Award, Nick Hildebrandt.

This year’s results saw an increase in establishments entering the Awards and a record number of clubs, pubs, hotels and wine bars achieving either a two or three glass rating (72 per cent).

 “The most popular award category remains Best Wine By the Glass – the perfect vehicle for introducing premium wines to the consumer, followed by Best Matching of Food and Wine – reflecting the even closer liaison now occurring between sommeliers and chefs,” said Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards founder Rob Hirst, chairman of Fine Wine Partners

Judy Sarris, Editor, Gourmet Traveller WINE added, “Australian sommeliers continue to address the ever-evolving landscape of wine with talent and finesse.  While organic, biodynamic and natural wines seem to have taken a stronger hold on lists than ever before, some of the most ferocious competition is to be found in the ever-expanding and improving by-the-glass lists – which can only be a bonus for the adventurous or the curious.”

Winners-Australia-s-Wine-List-of-the-Year-Awards-2016.jpgThe winners of Australia's Wine List of the Year Awards 2016

For a full list of winners visit

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *