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    Ben Thomson at Best's Great Western. Best’s Great Western won best value winery in Halliday Wine Companion 2021 awards.

Nothing but the best from Best’s of Great Western

A Grampians winery in its 100th year of operation has taken out one of the top spots in a renowned Australian wine awards ceremony. 

Best’s Great Western, which has one of the rarest and oldest vineyards of its kind in the world, was named Australia’s Best Value Winery of the year in 2021 James Halliday Wine Awards. 

Father and son team Viv and Ben Thomson received the accolade in an online awards ceremony for their wine’s quality to price ratio. 

“We are still a small family winery and to receive this sort of recognition is a fantastic boost to both the family, staff and all the people that work with us to make the establishment what we are today,” Viv said. 

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“These awards help not only us, but all other growers in the area also.”

In his review, Halliday described Best’s pinot meunier as ‘an absolute go to’ wine. 

Halliday also pointed to Best’s core range, which he scored more than 95 out of 100, including 2019 Riesling, 2019 Pinot Noir and 2018 Shiraz. 

In previous years Best’s received Wine of the Year for its Thomson Family Shiraz – made from vines that were planted in 1867 by Henry Best. 

The winery has a 154-year history with two families involved. The Thomson family purchased the winery from Henry Best’s son Charles in 1920.

This year marks 100 years and five generations of the family who have owned the winery. 

Best’s wine club manager Nicole Thomson, who has worked at the winery for 10 years, said value and great quality were standards the wine producers lived by. 

“We don’t make wines unless they’re outstanding. We have a reputation for our Thomson Family Shiraz and our Old Vine Pinot Meunier, which we don’t make just for the sake of making them,” she said. 

“We’re consistently producing amazing wine, and it’s very affordable. That’s been a motto of the family – Viv and Ben have always said ‘we want to make the best wines and make them affordable to most people’.”

Mrs Thomson said for a winery to be successful for five generations, it needed to be constantly evolving. 

“To make good wine and continually be productive you need a good winemaker and you need good grapes,” she said. 

“We just purchased another vineyard last year. There’s a big market out there, a lot more wineries than ever before. We really need to keep our finger on the pulse if we’re to keep making great wine.”

Great Western winery Seppelt was also awarded Best Riesling 2021 with its Drumborg Vineyard Riesling 2019, scoring 98 points. 

– Dylan De Jong 

The entire August 12, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!