James Halliday AM has named Paul Hotker of Bleasdale Vineyards as the Winemaker of the Year for 2018.

Hotker was among a number of Australian winemakers to be honoured at the fifth annual Qantas epiQure Halliday Wine Companion Awards ceremony held in Melbourne.

“James Halliday is a name synonymous with quality and that’s something Qantas epiQure is passionate about, so we’re proud to bring the two together to recognise the best in Australian wine,” says Lisa Hudson, Head of Qantas epiQure.

The Wine of the Year and Best Shiraz titles went to 2012 Henschke Hill of Grace, which is handpicked from 152-year-old vines in the Eden Valley.

The Yarra Valley was the front runner of the night, with single-vineyard estate Mount Mary picking up Winery of the Year and Best Pinot Noir, Dappled Wines named Best New Winery and Boat O’Craigo the Dark Horse to watch.

Jeffrey Grosset of Grosset Wines took out Best Value Winery for his globally renowned range.

The awards are based on the reviews in the 2018 Halliday Wine Companion book. Featuring more than 1200 wineries (including 78 new ones) and around 6840 individual wine ratings, it is the definitive guide to Australian wine.

“I am really proud of this edition, my 12th, and love that Australia is returning to produce the classic varieties of chardonnay and shiraz, with pinot noir the rising star,” says Halliday. “All can confidently share the world stage; Australian wine is in a really good place now.”

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