James Halliday is generally regarded as the foremost observer of and commentator on the Australian wine scene, with a career stretching back 45+ years during which time he has written, or contributed to, over 70 books (some translated into five languages) and was a senior wine show judge for over 30 years. He writes each week for The Weekend Australian. He has won numerous awards and prizes, the most significant the 1995 Maurice O’Shea Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Wine Industry, the James Beard Award (twice), Julia Child Award and Louis Roederer Award. He is Patron of Wine Communicators Australia and Patron of the National Wine Show of Australia. The annual Australia-wide Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon Challenges bear his name, as does the trophy for Best Pinot Noir at the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards.
He co-founded Brokenwood (Hunter Valley) in 1970, and founded (with wife Suzanne) Coldstream Hills (Yarra Valley) in 1985; he was an executive winemaker for 37 years.
In 2010 James was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his contribution to the wine industry.