McHenry Hohnen
6 March 2024 | McHenry Hohnen

Australia’s best vineyards have been named for 2024 March 5, 2024 By Cody Profaca

Australia’s best vineyards have been named for 2024

March 5, 2024
By Cody Profaca

The fourth annual Young Gun of Wine Vineyard Year awards, published last week, have shone a positive light on Australia’s viticultural industry at a time where it has been starting to show signs of nearing breaking point. The awards recognised the 41 vineyards out of Australia’s 6,000+ that best exemplify the values of sustainability, innovation, provenance, and quality wine production.

“I can’t believe we’re into the fourth year of these awards,” said awards panellist Max Allen.

“And I can’t believe we’re still talking about Australia’s winegrowing community facing unprecedented challenges.

“The pandemic might be over, the bushfires and floods may have receded, but there’s still plenty to worry about: uncertain weather patterns, global oversupply, rising costs and dwindling returns, structural imbalance and poor industry governance – the list goes on.”

Young Gun of Wine’s Vineyard of the Year awards have fallen shortly after the news of Riverland Wine’s meetings with state government to discuss the urgent need for financial support. Last week, Riverland’s Salena Estate, one of Australia’s top 20 wineries by volume, was forced into administration as a result of economic pressures.

“That’s why the vineyard of the year awards – in my humble opinion – are so important. They provide shining examples of innovative ideas, leading-edge practice, and sustainable business,” said Allen.

“Collectively, they offer a ray of hope: by highlighting regenerative viticulture, by championing our best growers and viticulturists and vignerons, we can remind ourselves that growing grapes and making wine is a long-term game that requires resilience and optimism and ingenuity – all of which are on display in the list of this year’s top growers.”

The 2024 awards were judged by a panel of leading viticultural experts who were tasked with personally reviewing all applicants. This included performing a number of physical inspections of a randomised sample of vineyards across the country. In addition to Max Allen, judges included Dr Kerry DeGaris, Richard Leask, Dr Colin McBryde, and Prue Henschke.

“It’s through uncovering and sharing the stories found with these top vineyards and growers, that we can promote change,” said Henschke. 

“Promote change to better care for and regenerate the environment as well as broader sustainability – communities and other industries are connected to winegrowers, so they have a social and economic impact too. Congratulations to the achievements of these vineyards. They are leading the way!”

Out of the 41 winners, 18 vineyards are located in South Australia, nine in Victoria, seven in NSW/ACT, four in Western Australia, and three in Tasmania. 

Winemakers from all 41 winning vineyards will be invited to a series of trade events that will give trade professionals, especially sommeliers and retailers, the opportunity to learn about the winners’ pioneering sustainable vineyard practices. The trade events will take place in Brisbane (May 27), Sydney (June 4), and Melbourne (June 11) and will discuss everything from caring for historic old vine vineyards, effectively using Ag-tech technology, championing alternative grape varieties, to innovative methods to scare off birds.

The full list of winning vineyards in alphabetical order is as followed:

South Australia

  • Alkina Wine Estate, Barossa Valley (Johnny Schuster & Amelia Nolan)
  • Ashton Hills, Piccadilly Valley (Jose Neves & Anton Groffen)
  • Cape Jaffa Wines Vineyard, Mount Benson (Hamish Stevenson)
  • Castine-Morella Vineyard, Clare Valley (Ben Castine & Jess Smythe-Castine)
  • Dallwitz Block Vineyard, Barossa (Adrian Hoffman)
  • Inkwell Vineyard, McLaren Vale (Irina Santiago-Brown)
  • Koomilya Vineyard, McLaren Vale (Stephen Pannell)
  • Land of Tomorrow – Grindstone Vineyard, Wrattonbully (Susie Harris)
  • Longview Vineyard, Adelaide Hills (Chris Mein)
  • Ngeringa – Summit Vineyard, Adeliade Hills (Erinn Klein)
  • Orbis Wines Vineyard, McLaren Vale (Macca Mackenzie, Brad Moyes & Lauren Langfield)
  • Paxton Wines – Thomas Block Vineyard, McLaren Vale (David Paxton)
  • Penley Estate, Coonawarra (Hans Loder)
  • Smallfry Wines – Vine Vale Vineyard, Barossa Valley (Wayne Ahrens & Suzi Hilder)
  • Starrs Reach Vineyard, Riverland (Sheridan Alm)
  • Stonegarden, Eden Valley (Glen Monaghan)
  • Wirra Wirra Vineyard, McLaren Vale (Jose Neves & Anton Groffen)
  • Yalumba – The Tri-Centenary Vineyard, Barossa Valley (Jana Shepherd)


  • Chalmers Heathcote Vineyard, Heathcote (Troy McInnes)
  • Crittenden Home Vineyard, Mornington Peninsula (Rollo Crittenden)
  • Glenhope Vineyard, Macedon Ranges (Scott Harrington)
  • Gorton Drive Estate, Swan Hill (Chris Dent)
  • Lakeside Vineyard – Lake Moodemere Estate, Rutherglen (Joel Chambers)
  • Portsea Estate – Main Ridge Vineyard, Mornington Peninsula (Matt Lugg)
  • Foxeys Hangout – Scotsworth Farm, Mornington Peninsula (Chris Strickland)
  • Syrahmi Home Block Vineyard, Heathcote (Adam Foster)
  • Yarra Yering, Yarra Valley (Andrew George)

New South Wales/ACT

  • Barwang Vineyard, Hilltops (James Bowman & Scott Douglas)
  • Freeman – Altura Vineyard, Hilltops (Brian Freeman)
  • Brokenwood – Graveyard Vineyard, Hunter Valley (Katrina Barry)
  • Keith Tulloch – Field of Mars Vineyard, Hunter Valley (Brent Hutton)
  • Stockman’s Ridge Wines, Orange (Jonathan Hambrook)
  • Topper’s Mountain Vineyard, New England (Mark Kirkby)
  • Vinden Wines Somerset Vineyard, Pokolbin, Hunter Valley (Angus Vinden)

Western Australia

  • 467 Twenty Four Road, Margaret River (Claudia Gant)
  • Gralyn Estate, Margaret River (Scott Baxter)
  • McHenry Hohnen – Hazel’s Vineyard, Margaret River (Simon Keall)
  • Riversdale Vineyard, Frankland River (Larry Cherubino, Jonno Reeve & Dwayne Loitering)


  • Mewstone, Tasmania (Alex McLean)
  • Stargazer – Palisander Vineyard, Tasmania (Bryn Williams)
  • Small Wonder, Tasmania (Wayne Nunn & Dylan Grigg)

More detailed results can be found on the Young Gun of Wine website.


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