Talijancich Wines

2018 Singapore Airlines Swan Valley Wine Awards

Chantelle Brien

The annual wine awards were held on August 24th at Mandoon Estate, and it was the biggest year so far in terms of the number of entries from Swan Valley wineries and the greater Perth zone. Over 200 wines were judged in the preceding days by international wine writer Chee Wee Lee, Perth stalwart Ray Jordan and winemaker Rob Mann amongst others.


It was a hugely successful night for James- four trophies in total. The superb 2007 Pedro Ximenes was awarded Best Fortified Wine in Show. This liqueur challenged James from the very beginning- with it being an extraordinarily hot year, the fruit was hard to press, sugar levels were higher than fruit he’d ever previously tried to work with and in the end only a few hundred litres of wine out of a whole vineyard. This is a beautiful rare liqueur that will be remembered as one of our finest vintages over our 86 years.

Both Sittella and Stringybark Wines took out 3 trophies each – with Stringybark’s 2018 Verdelho being awarded Best Table wine of the Show, Best 2018 Dry White Wine of Show and Best Verdelho.  Sittella’s 2017 Tinta Rouge was deserved of Best Swan Valley Red Table Wine.

Talijancich Wines were also awarded:

The West Australian Media Trophy for Most Successful Producer                                              Best Small Producer of Show and                                                                                                  City of Swan Trophy for Exhibitor whose five or more entries gained the highest average score.

Our thanks go to the City of SwanSingapore Airlines, the judges and all the amazing people who worked behind the scenes at Swan Valley Winemakers for making the night so special. Thank you! It takes a lot of time away from the usual tasks of winemaking and running a winery to bring this event together.

Congratulations to all the wineries that picked up awards.  Now it’s your job to head out into the valley and appreciate their efforts.

All show results can be downloaded here.



40 Vintages On- James's Reflections

blogChantelle Brien

Growing up on the winery property is filled with memories from my earliest years at Upper Swan Primary School and walking home to the amazing smells coming from Mum’s kitchen; for afternoon tea – scones were my favourites.

I could pick up the odour half way down Hyem Road. My three sisters and I were a part of this wonderful routine of school, sport and friends– topped up with and surrounded by vines and wine.

  James as a young boy- aged about 6

James as a young boy- aged about 6


All our neighbours became our lifelong friends, constantly dropping off fruit and veggies, which was accompanied by a compulsory tea or coffee.

As a young guy I loved football– but it was basketball that I turned to as my main sport. With the opportunity of a scholarship to Los Angeles for four years, my future was in front of me, but suddenly a technical hitch saw me remain in Perth and there was an opening working with my father at the family winery. A change was sweeping through the wine industry in the late 70’s and quality table wines were the go.

We had to make changes and so introduced Verdelho and Shiraz, but retained our fortifieds while most wineries were pushing them aside. We learned quickly by refining and channelling our knowledge of fortified wine to produce fine table wine, after a decade of sleepless nights we made it through.

  Peter and James sampling Muscat

Peter and James sampling Muscat


My mother and I would rotate each weekend to serve at the cellar door. We never lost focus of what wine actually meant to us and doing your best was par for the course.

My father always made sure we celebrated our successes and then worked on achieving more the following year in terms of quality and style of our wines.

 I look back with the fondest of memories knowing how tough it’s been, but I’ve learnt so much and will continue to do so.

Fine wine is about the process and understanding that the end result is a direct reflection of the process. To live and work in the Swan Valley that offers so much is a pleasure and must remain something we all respect.

Knowing that our finest wines are held in the highest regard by the wine writers and judges internationally is so satisfying and confirmation of our past and the present commitment to what we love.   

Long may it continue.