James Halliday is an Australian wine judge, vigneron, author, and critic. He was the most senior and active wine judge in Australia from 1977 to 2009, and also judged regularly in New Zealand, the UK, South Africa, Europe and the US. He wrote a weekly wine column for the National Times from 1978 to 1984, and has since then presented a weekly column for The Weekend Australian newspaper. Over the decades has written for many Australian and overseas magazines, and is best known for his work in Gourmet Traveller. Since 1979 he has written over 60 book, and been a significant contributor to others, including the Oxford Companion to Wine and Hugh Johnson Pocket Guide. His books have been translated into French, German, Danish, Icelandic, Japanese and Polish. In 2007 James Halliday started WineCompanion.com.au, a Website that gives subscribers access to over 55,000 tasting notes and reviews of over 2500 wineries.
He is a Member of Academie Internationale du Vin, a Melbourne Food & Wine Festival Legend 1995, Patron of Wine Communicators of Australia, Maurice O'Shea Award winner for Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Wine Industry 1995, Baron of Barossa 2009 (the only non-resident to be so honoured), Chairman Wine Australia (1998, 2000, 2002), and Trustee of the Len Evans Tutorial Foundation. In 2010 James was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
Wins: James Halliday was the winner of the Charles Heidsieck Award for Excellence in Wine Journalism in 1983, and a decade later the joint winner (with Hugh Johnson) of the James Beard Award and Clicquot Award and the runner up of the Glenfiddich Award (for Art and Science of Wine). In 1994 he was awarded the Wine Spectator Book of Year, the IACP/Julia Child Award for Best Wine, Spirits or Beer Book (USA), and the James Beard Award for Wine Atlas of California. In 2002 James was awarded the Wine Literary Award (San Francisco) for the Wine Atlas of California, the Saltram Wine Communicator Award 2005 for the 2006 Wine Companion, and thw Louis Roederer International Wine Book of the Year 2007 for the Wine Atlas of Australia.
Education: James Halliday studied law at the University of Sydney and became a lawyer in 1962. Halliday became a partner at the Clayton-Utz law firm in 1966. In 1970 Halliday and two colleagues from the law firm started the Brokenwood winery, located in the Hunter Valley wine growing region in New South Wales. He gained hands-on viticulture and winemaking experience at Brokenwood from 1973 to 1983, and at Coldstream Hills from 1985 to 1996, as well as in Bordeaux (1979) and Burgundy (1983). In 1985 he also founded the Coldstream Hills Winery in the Yarra Valley, Victoria. The Coldstream Hills winery was sold to the Southcorp Wines conglomerate, where Halliday went on to look after several wineries owned by Southcorp including Coldstream Hills, Devil's Lair and Lindemans. Since he has been a consultant to the winery.