James Halliday Grenache Challenge


The James Halliday Grenache Challenge (JHGC) gathers varietal Grenache wines from around Australia for a competitive tasting to celebrate and elevate the variety.  The challenge takes aim at all producers from all regions, for an honest gauge of Australia’s winemaking form and to catch the styles and movements developing across our landscape.

Important Dates:

  • Entries open: Monday 12th of August
  • Entries close: Friday 6th of September
  • Delivery of exhibits: Monday 30th September - Friday 4th of October
  • Judging: Sunday 13th of October
  • Announcement of trophy/results: Friday 1st of November

Entry Criteria:

  1. JHGC is open to table wines made from Australian Grenache.
  2. Exhibits must be from a commercial bottling and bear a commercial label declaring:
    • Variety (must be single varietal Grenache)
    • Vintage year (all vintages are eligible, provided they are available for purchase)
    • A single region or sub region complying with an Australian GI
  3. Exhibits and their labels must comply with relevant State Acts and Commonwealth Acts, including the Wine Australia Label Integrity Program (LIP) https://www.wineaustralia.com/selling/further-information/regulatory-services
  4. A single winery may enter as many eligible wines as they wish.
  5. All information provided to the entry system must be made accurately and in good faith.
  6. Entries (wines) must belong to the exhibitor and be current release / available for purchase at time of entry.
  7. Exhibits (6 x 750mL bottle samples) become the property of the organiser thereafter and may be made available for promotional or tasting use.
  8. Exhibitors must hold a minimum of 50 dozen (450L at the time of entry)
  9. An entry fee of $75 GST inclusive is payable for each entry.
  10. The entry fee is payable on-line through the Showrunner entry system at the time of entry.
  11. Entries will not be accepted until the entry fee is paid and may yet be disqualified at the discretion of the Chief Steward and/or the Wine Show Committee. Fees for disqualified or withdrawn entries will not be refunded.

How to Enter



  • Exhibits must arrive during the window outlined above and be delivered to:
  • Serafino Wines, Kangarilla Road, McLaren Vale SA 5171 (Delivery hours 8:30am to 3:00pm)
  • Exhibit and delivery labels will be emailed to the Exhibitor. The Exhibitor must print the labels and attach to exhibits prior to delivery.


  • Entries will be tasted blind in regional classes/brackets, vintage detail may be provided to judges.
  • Top golds from each class will proceed to a blind trophy taste-off.
  • Wines will be scored on a 100-point scale


A random audit of any entry may be conducted as per current ASVO guidelines and may result in disqualification of any exhibit not fulfilling entry criteria. 


Information submitted in the entry process will be used in the running of the JHGC and surrounding activities. It may be further used to contact exhibitors and invite entries for subsequent shows.  MVGWTA does not disclose entry information publicly or pass on entry information to third parties other than that which is relevant to the publishing of results.


The James Halliday Grenache Challenge is operated by the volunteers of the McLaren Vale wine show committee and the McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association. 

Contact: jo@mclarenvintners.com.au




The 2018 James Halliday Grenache Challenge Results Book can be downloaded HERE.

The second annual James Halliday Grenache Challenge (JHGC) gathered varietal Grenache wines from around Australia for a competitive tasting to celebrate and elevate the variety.  The Challenge invited producers from all Australian wine regions to participate, encouraging an honest gauge of Australia’s winemaking form and to catch the styles and movements developing across the landscape.

Cellarmasters 2017 Blood Brother Republic McLaren Vale Grenache emerged victorious, with Z Wine 2017 Rustica just a single point behind.

2018 James Halliday Grenache Challenge Panel Judges included Julian Langworthy - Deep Woods, Andrew Thomas - Thomas Wines and Fiona Donald - Seppeltsfield.

2018 McLaren Vale Wine Show Chair Liam Van Pelt, was thrilled to receive quality Grenache submissions from all over Australia.

"Once again, the JHGC was supported by many great wine regions around Australia. Entries were scrutinised by some of Australia’s top show judges with the top eight wines creating a lot of conversation around style, winemaking and Grenache’s overall position in Australia," said Mr Van Pelt.

"Judges were impressed with the strength of the entries with eventual winner chosen for showing brightness, balance, varietal definition and complexity.” 

James Halliday also noted the standout quality of the final entries.

"The eight grenache that were in contention for the best overall and best regional awards are a brilliant testimony to all that modern day grenache has to offer," said Mr Halliday.

"Lifted, perfumed red fruits and hints of spice of the bouquets were mirrored by vibrant, supple palates with a seamless flow of varietal fruits ranging through red cherry, strawberry and raspberry. The wines achieved these wonderful flavours at moderate alcohol levels, making them a sheer pleasure to drink."

Mark 'Jamo' Jamieson, the winemaker behind the winning wine, is honoured to receive the accolade.

“To get recognition from Australia’s most respected wine critic is a tremendous honour,” Jamieson said.

“Creating a beautiful wine is a team effort, and this win is a true testament to all the hard work the grower, cellar hands and winemaker do together. At the end of the day, it’s all about the vines, the soil, and ability to pick the fruit at optimum ripeness – not to mention a large dash of luck.”