A local winemaker has been named 2020’s Winemaker Of The Year

A local winemaker has been named 2020’s Winemaker Of The Year


Providing a bit of good news for the local wine industry, Geelong’s Nick Farr, of Wines By Farr Estate, has landed the 2020 Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the Year award.

Selected out of eight finalists in the competition, this was the second time the Moorabool Valley winemaker had been nominated, and the first time in the award’s 23 years that a winemaker of the year is the son of a former winemaker of the year.

That’s right, Nick’s father Gary won the title in 2001.

It’s fitting recognition for Nick, who’s taken amazing strides with the By Farr business since effectively taking over from his father some 10 years ago. While Gary put both Bannockburn Vineyards (established 1978) and By Farr on the vinous map, it’s Nick who has since taken By Farr to a whole new level.

Since been nominated for this award seven years again, Nick has revealed his changes at By Farr are all about fine-tuning. The Farr family continues to plant more vines each year, with a new focus on east and north-east facing slopes and moving to organic viticulture, with sights set on becoming organic.

They’ve also honed in on what works by planting more gamay, and they’re trialling new varieties, including a Nebbiolo, truly embracing the ripeness, presence and power that Geelong affords them.

A huge credit to Nick’s contribution to the business would be that their top wines – the Côte Vineyard chardonnay and pinot noir – were only created in recent years. Nick pays homage to his parents with these top releases, with the chardonnay initialled with GC (his father’s initials) and the pinot RP, his mother’s. It’s incredibly timely that the Farr’s also released the new vintages of ‘RP’ Pinot Noir 2018, ‘GC’ Chardonnay 2019 and Tout Pres Pinot Noir 2018 this month, coinciding with the award.

“I feel very honoured to be the second generation in my family to receive this award, after my father Gary won the award in 2001,” Nick says. “Relentless work and passion for our piece of dirt within the Moorabool Valley, produces Australian Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Viognier, that we are so very proud to show the world, all of which have a strong sense of origin, place and family connection.

“I could not be prouder of the people that are involved in our vision for excellence, and the standards that we set for ourselves. These wines are produced to please ourselves, and it is a huge bonus that our customers appreciate them as well.”

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We know, we know…. The silence from us is deafening…… We are so elated to announce that Nick Farr has been awarded the Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year 2020! Thank you to @gtwinemag , Perpetual, and this years judges for these awards. GT Wine is Australia’s most consistent wine journal, and we love what they offer to our industry, in both knowledge and education. Congratulations to @joshuacooper88 for being awarded Young Winemaker of the year 2020, Catherine Kidman @wynnscoonawarra for Viticulturalist of the year 2020, and Dr Mary Retallack @retallackviti for the Len Evans award 2020. Congratulations to all nominees for this years awards, to be nominated is an honour for us all. Most of all, we thank our loyal consumers of Wines By Farr wines. Our wines are made for you to enjoy and make memories with. Thank you for all of your support. After thinking the Covid Wine 2020 (made in Wuhan) jumper was controversial, the @pjdredge ‘Lady in red’ definitely stole the show!!!

A post shared by Nick Farr (@winebyfarr) on

Beginning his winemaking journey with an apprenticeship under his dad, Nick has in no doubt taken great vineyards and great wines to the next level in recent times. Bravo!

Visit the By Farr website.