James Halliday AM honoured with the inaugural d’Arry Osborn Award

Photo: James Halliday AM (left) and d’Arenberg chief winemaker and viticulturalist Chester Osborn

d’Arenberg says it is thrilled to announce that James Halliday AM, the esteemed wine critic and author, is the recipient of the first-ever d’Arry Osborn Award, presented at the 2023 McLaren Vale Wine Show ‘Bushing Lunch’.

This prestigious award has been established to commemorate the enduring legacy of d’Arry Osborn and his continued advocacy for the Grenache grape. d’Arry famously stood against the vine pull scheme of the 1980s, ensuring the preservation of invaluable old vine Grenache in the region.

The d’Arry Osborn Award recognises the individual or company that have done the most to champion and promote the Grenache varietal and its blends within McLaren Vale. This year, the honour fittingly goes to James Halliday AM, who has consistently lauded McLaren Vale as the foremost exponent of this varietal in Australia. His passion, knowledge and influential voice have played an instrumental role in elevating the profile of Grenache wines from the region on both a national and global scale.

Chester Osborn, chief winemaker and viticulturalist and fourth-generation family member of d’Arenberg shared that, “Presenting the inaugural d’Arry Osborn Award to James Halliday is an honour that brings immense pride”.

“This award celebrates not just the varietal, but those who believe in its potential and invest in its future. James’ long-standing appreciation and fervent support for McLaren Vale Grenache perfectly aligns with Dad’s vision. The trophy this year is an antique butter churn as d’Arry made great butter that was revered by many buyers.”

James Halliday AM has responded with gratitude.

“I’m deeply honoured to receive the inaugural d’Arry Osborn Award. I’m a long-time and unabashed lover of all things Grenache.

“If I must give one reason, it is the exquisite perfume the wine has, which reaches a high point in McLaren Vale. It’s an ambassador for Australia because, outside of the Rhône Valley, no other region can match what Australia offers.”

Erin Leggat, CEO of McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association, which orchestrates the McLaren Vale Wine Show and Bushing Lunch event commented.

“We are incredibly proud to be able to support this inaugural award. It was a truly exceptional moment to witness an award that celebrates the life and work of an industry icon in d’Arry, being presented to another such icon in James Halliday.

“The inaugural d’Arry Osborn Award honours two legends of our industry, whose contributions to strengthening and elevating the McLaren Vale wine region and the Australian wine industry cannot be underestimated.”

d’Arenberg said it looks forward to the d’Arry Osborn Award becoming an annual highlight of the McLaren Vale Wine Show, driving the continued passion and innovation with the Grenache varietal for years to come.

Are you a Daily Wine News subscriber? If not, click here to join our mailing list. It’s free!