James Halliday moves from tasting to new technology

Circle member and esteemed Australian wine writer James Halliday is taking a step back from some of his tasting duties at renowned publication, the Halliday Wine Companion, in order to focus on initiatives to support the wine industry and lead innovation in response to the increasing threats of drought and bushfire, as well as the impact of Covid 19 on the wine industry.

James will guide the development of The Cellardoor Challenge as well as the advanced technology and digital wine business Junovate, which he co-founded last year. The Cellardoor Challenge is an initiative developed by Junovate to support wineries across Australia and encourage people to visit and buy direct from them. It was created in response to the very challenging conditions local winemakers have experienced due to droughts, bushfires and COVID-19.

Last month, The Cellardoor Challenge launched a new Social Winery Directory. The directory features over 500 social media posts from wine consumers. A key feature is the community’s reviews and recommendations of their favourite wines and wineries, encouraging everyday wine drinkers to try new wineries and their wines.

James will continue to taste wine and produce articles for the Halliday website, magazine and guide, which remains a joint venture between James and Hardie Grant. He will also play a role in the annual Halliday Wine Companion Awards and continues to write for The Weekend Australian, including the annual Top 100. Reviewer, writer, judge, presenter and author Tyson Stelzer will take on the newly created role of chief editor at the Halliday Wine Companion.