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Silkman Shortlisted for top gongs by Halliday

Local dynamic winemaking duo Liz and Shaun Silkman’s – Silkman Wines – has been named amongst only 6 Australian wineries in contention for the prestigious title of Winery of the Year by the world-renowned wine bible – Halliday Wine Companion for its soon to be released 2025 edition.

Topping off an already exciting announcement, Liz Silkman herself was also Shortlisted for Winemaker of the Year, an almost equally prestigious title for the awards which are announced in Melbourne on the eve of the annual Companion’s release on August 8, 2024. Liz is one of nine winemakers in Australia to be shortlisted for the title, and the only winemaker in the Hunter Valley to make the shortlist.

Liz and Shaun both born and bred in the Hunter Valley, started the Silkman Wines brand as a side hustle in 2013. Both work full time in the family wine business First Creek Wines, Liz as Chief Winemaker and Shaun as Chief Operating Officer, together producing some of the regions most awarded wines while overseeing the production and bottling of over a million cases of wine. Their vision for Silkman Wines has been achieved in just a few short years, to make small batch contemporary versions of traditional Hunter varieties – Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz, that are the absolute best examples of what the single vineyard fruit allows.

Liz and Shaun both took different paths to winemaking in the Hunter, Liz began her career in 1999 as Lab Technician at Brokenwood Wines in the Hunter, having completed a Bachelor of Science Degree at Newcastle University, and later a Graduate Diploma in Oenology at the University of Adelaide. She worked at numerous wineries across Australia, the US and New Zealand before returning to the Hunter as Winemaker at Tempus Two for six years prior to taking on her current role as Chief Winemaker at First Creek Wines.

Liz was Dux of the Len Evans Tutorial - regarded as one of the most exclusive wine schools in the world and has seen success on success ever since for both her wines and her winemaking prowess. Liz was in fact the first winemaker to be named Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year three times.

Shaun began working as a cellar hand in the family wine business in 1999, while studying a Bachelor of Business & Commerce Degree at the University of Newcastle. At the time he did not intend to pursue a career in the wine industry, however quickly realised he could apply his business acumen to the rapidly expanding family business, and became the driving force in creating what is today one of the most successful contract winemaking and bottling businesses in Australia. Shaun and Liz met in 2004 and Liz’s passion for wine quickly rubbed off on Shaun, which led him to study a Bachelor of Wine Science Degree through Charles Sturt University.

Reigning Wines of Provenance Trophy winner at the Hunter Valley Wine Show for their trio of Semillon, Liz and Shaun are excited to have such accolades being ticked off their list of titles they’ve been aspiring to achieve. Trophies which include winning NSW Wine of the Year, and the Halliday Chardonnay Challenge are just the tip of the iceberg.

“We couldn’t be more humbled by this new recognition for our small brand” says Shaun Silkman “we make only tiny parcels of wine from the very best Hunter fruit we can get our hands on and are entirely focussed on making the absolute best wines that we can” he continued.

That so. Silkman make two ranges of wine in their small stable, Reserve and Estate, and produce extremely limited volumes of each of the 8 wines in their portfolio, comprising Semillon, Chardonnay, Shiraz & Shiraz Pinot.

Wines are distributed nationally by specialist wine distributor Red + White, and available through cellar door at the Small Winemakers Centre in Pokolbin. They are soon launching an online store at

You can follow their journey at

For further information, to arrange an interview or for additional images please contact Kylie White, White Ink - Wine + Life PR at or on 0401 408 080


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