MG 3839

A Twenty-Year Journey to Five Red Stars

Media release: 6 August 2020

It’s been a 20-year journey for Whispering Brook winery to achieve a 5 Red Stars rating from the Halliday Wine Companion, but we did it, and we’re proud to share the news.

The James Halliday Wine Companion is Australia’s most comprehensive resource for wines, and James Halliday the country’s most respected wine authority. His annual awards are awaited with excitement by the industry and punters alike. To be awarded 5 Red Stars is a distinguished accomplishment. The Halliday Wine Companion describes a 5 Red Stars winery as an ‘Outstanding winery regularly producing wines of exemplary quality and typicity. Will have at least two wines rated at 95 points or above, and had a five-star rating for the previous two years.’ Of more than 3,000 wineries across Australia, only about 12% earn a 5 Red Star rating.

It’s a particularly great accomplishment for a small, artisan family winery. Unlike larger wineries, we have only one shot each year at making each of our varietals – Shiraz, Semillon, Chardonnay, Merlot and Touriga Nacional – because we grow our own grapes, carefully and lovingly, in tiny quantities. A focus on uncompromising quality has resulted in success: last year’s milestone was a rating of 97 points for our 2017 single vineyard shiraz (our 2017 Semillon was awarded 96 points).

“It’s been a difficult year for so many of us,” Susan explained. “We were badly affected by the bushfires. And now, there’s COVID-19 ... so this is something to celebrate. Our love of the land and passion for winemaking have paid off with this milestone.”

Whispering Brook’s husband and wife winemaking team, Susan Frazier and Adam Bell, established Whispering Brook in 2000. They’ve completed over 20 vintages overseas and at their Hunter Valley winery and cellar door. They’ve brought their passion for Portuguese grape varietals to the Hunter Valley, winning numerous trophies for their Touriga Nacional and being the first winery in the Hunter Valley to grow and make a 100% Touriga Nacional.

Whispering Brook offers a picturesque cellar door and an 18-bed guesthouse. Visitors can experience walking tours to gain a deeper understanding of the viticultural and winemaking process and taste some of the Hunter’s best olive oils and olives, straight from the Whispering Brook olive groves. Visit our website at to learn more, plan your visit, purchase our products, and read about special events like our annual Whispering Brook Olive Long Table Luncheon, usually held during Wine and Food month in May or June. Cellar door opening times are Friday to Sunday, 10:30am to 5pm.

Bookings for experiences are essential:


For further information or comment, please contact, Susan Frazier, Director and Winemaker at Whispering Brook. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Ph: 0412 158 165


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