Wine Tasting Guide

Understanding winery ratings

By Halliday Wine Companion


Find detailed overviews of more than 3000 wineries located in diverse regions around Australia with one of the most thorough winery resources in the country, including star ratings, winemaker and production information, and links to the latest wine reviews from James Halliday and his team.

James Halliday’s winery reviews speak to the history, winemaking specialities and regions associated with producers, with a few fun facts and plenty of witticisms along the way.

Use this as a tool to plan your next wine-touring trip, with cellar door information and links to the producer’s wine styles all helping to inform your itinerary when visiting Australian wine regions.  

5 red stars

Outstanding winery regularly producing wines of exemplary quality and typicity. Will have at least two wines rated at 95 points or above, and has typically held a 5-star rating for the previous three years (i.e. 4 years in total at 5 stars).  Where the red stars are underlined, it is a winery generally acknowledged to have had a long track record of excellence, typically having held a 5-star rating continuously for 10 years – truly the best of the best.

5 black stars

Outstanding winery capable of producing wines of very high quality, and did so this year. Will have at least two wines rated at 95 points or above.

4.5 black stars

Excellent winery able to produce wines of high to very high quality, knocking on the door of a 5-star rating. Will have one wine rated at 95 points or above, and two (or more) at 90 or above. 

4 black stars

Very good producer of wines with class and character. Will have either one wine rated at 95 points or above, or two (or more) at 90 or above.

3.5 black stars

A solid, usually reliable maker of good, sometimes very good, wines. Will have one wine rated at 90 points or above, others 86–89.

3 black stars

A typically good winery, but often has a few lesser wines. Will have at least one wine at 86–89 points.


The NR rating is given when there have been no wines reviewed for this edition, where there have been no wines scoring more than 86 points, or where the tastings have, for one reason or another, proved not to fairly reflect the reputation of a winery with a track record of success.