Halliday retires from weekly column

James Halliday AM

Australia’s best-known wine writer and critic, James Halliday AM, signed off his last weekly column for The Weekend Australian Magazine on Saturday, handing over the reins to Nick Ryan.

Halliday, now 85-years-old, has been writing for The Weekend Australian since 1984, marking 2024 as the writer’s 40th year with the magazine.

Described by Penfolds winemaker Peter Gago as “a must-read”, Halliday’s wine column is the longest-running of its kind in the nation, according to The Australian.

“James has influenced the big and small and everything in between – he is the definitive commentator on Grange but has also put so many small players on the map too,” Gago told the publication.

Halliday will continue to contribute to The Australian, and will also remain president of The Australian Wine Club.


Nick Ryan introduces the judging team at the 2023 Margaret River Wine Show


Nick Ryan, Halliday’s successor, has already established a name for himself in the world of wine writing, with 25 years’ experience covering wine and spirits, and judging a collection of notable Australian wine shows.

Based in the Clare Valley in South Australia, Ryan told The Australian he was “humbled” to be taking over the weekly column, and credited Halliday for paving the way in wine communications.

“I have a career as a wine writer because James Halliday, through his passion for the subject and herculean work ethic, showed such a thing could even exist,” said Ryan.

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