VICTORIAN SARAH CROWE BECOMES THE FIRST WOMAN TO WIN PRESTIGIOUS HALLIDAY WINEMAKER AWARD
For the first time, a woman has won the prestigious James Halliday Winemaker of the Year Award.
Sarah Crowe of Victorian winery Yarra Yering accepted the award at a ceremony help at Melbourne's National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne on Wednesday night.
In accepting the award the winemaker acknowledged the achievement, expressing her pride at winning the award in a male dominated industry.
"I don't like to focus on my gender as being important to my role," Ms Crowe said.
"I think a lot of us in the wine industry don't, but the absolute truth of it is there not that many of us.
"I like to think it's a level playing field, but it probably isn't when you break it down so that's really a sweetener, to be the first woman to have won this award."
Wineries in all major producing states also scooped awards, with Victoria's Thompson family winery Best's Great Western Shiraz claiming wine of the year, and the Hunter Valley's Mount Pleasant taking out winery of the year.
Western Australia's Larry Cherubino was awarded best value winery of the year and fellow WA winery, Margaret River's Arlewood Estate won Dark Horse of the year.
McLaren Vale newcomers Bondar Wines took out the award for best new winery.
The James Halliday wine awards are widely considered among the most important gongs for wineries, with the industry doyen's ratings driving consumer sales.
This year, over 9000 wines were considered for the awards, which mark the release of the James Halliday Wine Companion.