Halliday Wine Companion appoints new chief editor

08 September, 2020 by
Madeline Woolway

The Halliday Wine Companion is set to enter a new era with the appointment of a chief editor.

Following the release of the 2021 Halliday Wine Companion, the annual guide to Australian wine will see reviewer, writer, judge, presenter and author Tyson Stelzer take on the newly created role. Stelzer has almost 20 years of industry experience under this belt and his appointment is fully supported by James Halliday AM and the Companion’s publisher Hardie Grant.

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Halliday will step back from his management role after more than 30 years producing the guide.

“This is a decision that reflects a move I made a number of years ago to share the load with a tasting team,” says Halliday. “It’s been apparent to me there has to be someone who can commit a great deal of time and effort to it. This is more than just being a panellist — it’s been obvious that someone has to step into the role of editor, and I’ve said from the outset that Tyson almost self-selects.”

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Stelzer’s appointment will see the Halliday tasting team evolve further: two new members — Western Australian wine judge, writer and consultant Erin Larkin, and long-time South Australian journalist and wine writer Tony Love. Larkin and Love join Jane Faulkner, Jeni Port, Steven Creber and Ned Goodwin MW. The traditional tasting process is also reimagined for the new year of reviews, with each panellist focusing on specific wine regions, offering even more continuity, connection and specialist expertise.

While Halliday is taking a step back, he’ll continue to taste wine and produce articles for the Halliday website, magazine and guide, which remains a joint venture with Hardie Grant. Halliday will also collaborate with Stelzer and the team to select winners for the annual Halliday Wine Companion Awards.

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“I am excited for this new chapter in my career and look forward to leading new initiatives to support the local wine industry while continuing to share my love of fine wine,” says Halliday, who is set to continue writing for The Weekend Australian, including the annual Top 100. “It’s been a long road with many, many wonderful moments. Always stimulating, always challenging, but it’s time that I step back. I welcome Tyson to the chair, and I know he’s going to do a wonderful job. All of these exciting developments have my unqualified support.”

It’s a full circle moment for Stelzer, who was drawn into the world of wine during this university days through the Companion. 

“It is my mandate and aspiration to maintain every bit of the format, scope, integrity and spirit that James has infused in the Companion, and at the same time to take it forward in new and dynamic ways,” says Stelzer.

ImageHalliday and Stelzer

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