Pinot Noir clinches Jimmy Watson Trophy for the third time in history

November 6, 2023
By Melissa Parker

Tasmania’s Lowestoft’s 2022 La Maison Pinot Noir has clinched the highly coveted Jimmy Watson Trophy at the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards.

Lowestoft’s 2022 La Maison Pinot Noir won the 60th Jimmy Watson Trophy for Best Young Red at the 2023 Melbourne Royal Wine Awards, solidifying its status as a top-tier winemaker in the country.

This is the first time Lowestoft Estate Wines has secured this prestigious accolade and only the third instance where a Pinot Noir has claimed the trophy. Home Hill 2014 Kelly’s Reserve Tasmania won it in 2015, and Yabby Lake 2012 Block 1 Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir won it in 2013.

The Jimmy Watson Trophy, honouring the late Jimmy Watson’s contributions to the Australian wine industry, is awarded to the finest one- or two-year-old dry red wine.

The 2023 trophy winners for the prestigious Melbourne Royal Wine Awards, presented by Vintrace, were announced at a luncheon at the Victoria Pavilion at Melbourne Showgrounds on Friday, 3 November 2023.

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 esteemed platform for wineries to benchmark their wines against industry standards and receive valuable feedback from an independent panel of industry experts.

The 2022 La Maison Pinot Noir also received the James Halliday Trophy for Best Pinot Noir, marking a ‘three-peat’ win in this category, as the 2020 and 2021 vintages had previously won the same award. Additionally, a special “Consistency of Excellence” Trophy was awarded, highlighting the remarkable run of awards the La Maison wines have earned during this period.

This outstanding achievement is a testament to the dedication and expertise of the team, firmly establishing Lowestoft as one of Australia’s premier Pinot Noir vineyards. The La Maison wines have garnered seven trophies and nine gold medals, earning the title of Pinot Noir of the Year in the Halliday Wine Companion 2023.

Lowestoft, situated on the banks of the Derwent River near Hobart, Tasmania, is home to some of the state’s oldest Pinot Noir vines, with the vineyard initially planted in 1986. The estate and vineyard were acquired by Fogarty Family Wines in 2019, and since then, Lowestoft has been recognised as “Tasmania’s most exciting new label.” Its impressive array of trophies and gold medals underscores its exceptional quality and standing in the world of Australian wine.

Lowestoft’s Chief Winemaker and General Manager, Liam McElhinney, said:

“It is a great honour for me and our winemaking and viticulture teams to be able to produce such amazing wines from the Lowestoft vineyard. This is a small 3-hectare site, densely planted in 1986 to 8,300 vines per hectare. The Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy and the ‘three-peat’ James Halliday Trophy win shows the immense quality this vineyard produces year after year.

“We are immensely proud that the consistency of style we are capturing in the La Maison is setting a new benchmark for Australian Pinot Noir. Our success is Tasmania’s success, and we hope wine consumers will continue to appreciate how fantastic Tasmanian Pinot Noir is.”

For the full results visit:

Share the content