Dark Horse Winery of the Year 2018

09 August 2017

I am delighted to announce that Boat O’Craigo has been awarded the James Halliday ‘Darkhorse Winery Of The Year’ for 2018.

The award was formally announced at the fifth annual Qantas epiQure Halliday Australian Wine Companion Awards during a gala dinner at the National Gallery Of Victoria on Wednesday 2nd of August amid an audience comprising Australia’s leading producers, wine writers, sommelier’s and media.

This is one of 6 key national awards. James Halliday AM is unquestionably the pre-eminent wine critic in Australia. The awards are based on his reviews of more than 1,200 wineries in the 2018 Halliday Wine Companion book which has long been regarded as the definitive guide to Australian wine.

We are an extremely proud recipient of this award which recognises a winery on the move and one to watch producing consistently high quality wines. The award also signifies that we have become a 5 Star Winery for the first time in our history. Four of our wines have received scores of 95 points or above. Our 2015 ‘First Duke’ Reserve Shiraz has scored highest with 97 points making it one of the best wines in the country. This was our first Reserve release and so this is truly a wonderful achievement in itself. Our other flagship wines have also scored very well with our 2015 single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon receiving a score of 96 points and both our 2015 single vineyard shiraz and Pinot Noir both receiving 95 points.

This award has been 15 years in the making. Our goal has always been to produce the finest quality single-vineyard premium wines which highlight the quality of our fruit from our magnificent vineyards and which are true to the Yarra Valley region. I think these wines achieve both these goals.

Until now, Boat O’Craigo has been a well-kept secret only known to a relatively small few who have visited our cellar door or who have tasted our wines before. The effect of this award will be felt right across our business. As an award winner, there will be plenty of media coverage and we anticipate increases in traffic at the cellar door plus increased domestic and export sales. In that we offer one of the most generous Wine Clubs in the country, there will no doubt be a lot of interest from people wanting to join our Wine Club to get up to 30% off our award winning wines too.

This has been a relentless pursuit, particularly over the last few years. I feel truly blessed to have such a wonderful, dedicated and highly skilled team of winemakers, vineyard staff, cellar door staff and viticulturalists working on our team and I dedicate this award to all those whose individual efforts have combined to achieve such a milestone.

To commemorate this milestone, we have also put together a ‘Halliday Pack’ containing a range of our highest scoring wines for you to enjoy.


If you’re not already a member, there has never been a better time to join our Wine Club which allows you to purchase most of our wines at up to 30% off so please make time to check out our Wine Club on the website and sign up today.

Of course, if you are in town, why not come to our cellar door in Healesville to celebrate with us while tasting our wines and enjoying the magnificent views.

Travers Graham
Boat O’Craigo Wines

Sign up to our Mailing List

Receive updates on special offers, events and product updates.

Sign up to our Mailing List

Let us know about you, and we will keep you up to date with all the latest news, reviews, events and special offers.