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Australia’s best winemakers named at the 2023 Melbourne Royal Wine Awards

The 2023 trophy winners for the prestigious Melbourne Royal Wine Awards, presented by vintrace, have been announced at a luncheon at the Victoria Pavilion at Melbourne Showgrounds.

The Melbourne Royal Wine Awards is one of Australia’s oldest and most respected wine shows recognising and rewarding excellence in Australian winemaking.

The awards provide a highly respected platform for wineries to benchmark their wines against industry standards and
receive valuable feedback from an independent panel of industry experts.

Established in 1884 with just 13 entries, the Melbourne Royal Wine Awards have evolved and grown into a premier celebration for the Australian wine industry, attracting over 2,425 entries from more than 420 wineries across the nation.

The growth and influence of the Melbourne Royal Wine Awards reinforces its position as a benchmark of inspiring excellence and innovation within the wine industry.

The trophy wine makers around Australia want to win is the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy for Best Young Red.

Celebrating the 60th awarding of the trophy this year, the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy was awarded to Tasmania’s Lowestoft Estate Wines for their Lowestoft La Maison Pinot Noir, 2022.

This is the first time Lowestoft Estate has won the award and just the third time a Pinot Noir has claimed the prestigious trophy, following the Pinot Noir wins of Home Hill Winery in 2015 and Yabby Lake Winery in 2013.

The prestige of winning a trophy at the Melbourne Royal Wine Awards continues to grow, particularly the Francois De Castella trophy for Best Young White Wine, the Trevor Mast Trophy for Best Shiraz, and the James Halliday Trophy for Best Pinot Noir.

For the third year in a row, Lowestoft La Maison Pinot Noir has also been awarded The James Halliday Trophy for Best Pinot Noir, this year with their 2022 vintage.

The François De Castella Trophy for Best Young White went to Handpicked Wines for their 2022 Handpicked Wines Wombat Creek Vineyard Yarra Valley Chardonnay.

The same wine has also been awarded Best Chardonnay and Best Victorian Chardonnay.

With over 904 eligible exhibits, the Douglas Seabrook Trophy for Best Single Vineyard Wine went to McWilliams Wines Single Vineyard 2022 Shiraz, with the same wine also taking out the Trevor Mast Trophy for Best Shiraz.

In their first win at the Awards, Tasmania’s Freycinet Vineyard has been awarded the Dr Tony Jordan Trophy for Best Sparkling with their Freycinet Vineyard Radenti Vintage Cuvee, 2016 Chardonnay, Pinot Noir.

Melbourne Royal CEO, Brad Jenkins said, “The Melbourne Royal Wine Awards is one of Australia’s oldest and most respected wine award programs, recognising and rewarding excellence in Australian winemaking.

This year we celebrate the 60th awarding of the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy and we congratulate the team at Tasmania’s Lowestoft Estate on taking home the top prize in wine.

“We are grateful to all our entrants, judges, committee members and stewards for their tireless commitment to excellence and for making this year’s Melbourne Royal Wine Awards one of the most coveted in its history.”

This year the Melbourne Royal Wine Awards presented a total of 1197 medals, including 180 Gold, 296 Silver and 721 Bronze.

The awards were judged by 35 accomplished experts in wine, who tasted over 100 wines each per day, over the five days of judging.

Chair of judges, Melanie Chester, said of this year’s awards, “the 2023 Melbourne Royal Wine Award results demonstrate the strength and diversity our industry is producing.

“This year, judges from across the Australian industry gathered with the rather daunting task of tasting just over 2400 wines, and the delicious wines on the bench on trophy day were a testament to the talent and commitment of our viticulturalists and winemakers.”

Parliamentary secretary to the premier, Nick Staikos MP, representing the Victorian Government and Government Partner Drink Victorian, said, “Victoria has around 700 wineries that contribute significantly to Victoria’s $24.5 billion drinks industry, generating regional jobs and boosting local tourism.”

“While not every winery was lucky enough to walk away with an award, the Melbourne Royal Wine Awards celebrate that contribution and provide a timely reminder to Drink Victorian ahead of the festive period.”

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