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James Halliday announces retirement

By Tuesday 7 May 2024No Comments

James Halliday AM – who has made an enormous contribution to the Australian and international wine industry as an author, critic, judge and business owner – has announced his retirement.

“Late last year I made the decision that I was going to seriously cut back on my work commitments,” he says in a statement.

“Having turned 85 I wanted to fully focus on what I want to do, and that is writing about 50 years of great wine dinners I’ve attended or staged.

“This work has no deadline, has no space constraints, and is something that has been simmering in my mind and heart for the past half-decade as my ‘swansong’.

“Recent health issues have made me wish even more for this to have my sole attention.

“So, while my fondness for writing is undiminished, and with my family’s support, I will be quiet on the wine media front until I can share the birth of my last child.”

Halliday wrote his last column for The Weekend Australian on 6 April, handing the reins to Nick Ryan.

Ryan said at the time, “I have a career as a wine writer because James Halliday, through his passion for the subject and Herculean work ethic, showed such a thing could even exist.

“Every wine writer in this country owes James an enormous debt.”

He wrote the column for 40 years – the longest-running national wine column in Australia.

Halliday has written numerous books and is most famous for the James Halliday Wine Companion, now published by Hardie-Grant.

Andrew Caillard MW said on LinkedIn, “A great ambassador for the cause of Australian wine with a remarkable work ethic, an unmatched body of work and a legacy that cannot be forgotten.

“He may be leaving the stage, but there is still his Final Act to come.”

James at the Len Evans Tutorial. Photo: Chris Elfes.

Main photo: James at the 2023 James Halliday Grenache Challenge in McLaren Vale.

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