Entries are now open for the 2023 Melbourne Royal Wine Awards as the Jimmy Watson celebrates 60th milestone

Established in 1884 and this year celebrating the 60th awarding of the prestigious Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy for Best Young Red Wine, the Melbourne Royal Wine Awards are now open for entry. 

Built on a longstanding tradition of celebrating excellence and innovation in Australian winemaking, the Melbourne Royal Wine Awards is one of Australia's most respected wine shows and seeks to reflect current industry trends, production techniques and consumer interests. 

Named in honour of the late Jimmy Watson and recognising his contribution to the advancement of the Australian wine industry, the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy was established in 1962 and is awarded to the Best Young Red Wine of the 2021 or 2022 vintage classes. Australia's best known individual wine award, winning “The Jimmy” is seen as the epitome of success and will be awarded for the 60th time in 2023 (having not been awarded in 2020 due to the pandemic). 

The Melbourne Royal Wine Awards also welcomes several refinements and new initiatives in 2023 following a detailed review in consultation with the Melbourne Royal Wine Committee. 

Having considered the impact of smaller yields in more recent years and with a view to making the Awards more inclusive, the most significant change to this year’s program is the reduction in the requirement for held finished commercially packaged stock changing from 250 dozen to 100 dozen (or equivalent volume) for all trophies except for the 'Jimmy Watson' and the François De Castella Trophy for Best Young White Wine, where 150 dozen (or equivalent volume) is required to be held. 
In other changes, Melbourne Royal will be the first capital city wine show to accept wines in vessels other than 750mL bottles, including wine in cans, pouches, boxes and PET bottles. 
To acknowledge the growth in entries in the Single Varietal White and Single Varietal Red categories, the Awards have introduced classes for the following grape varieties: Fiano, Grüner Veltliner, Montepulciano, Malbec, Nero d'Avola, and Sangiovese and Merlot. 

"Judged by Australia’s leading experts in wine, the Awards provide Australian producers with an essential benchmarking opportunity aimed at improving quality, driving innovation, and celebrating excellence," said Melbourne Royal Award Programs Manager Damian Nieuwesteeg  

"Medal and trophy winners can leverage their success and market medal-winning products using the Melbourne Royal Wine Awards seal of excellence. 

"Winning the Jimmy Watson in any year, let alone in its 60th year of being awarded, would be something any winemaker would dream of achieving given its prestige in the industry." 

To read about the new initiatives implemented in 2023 and the other exciting developments, visit the Melbourne Royal website.

Key Dates:

Entries Close: Friday 18 August

Judging: Monday 16 – Friday 20 October

Trophy Presentation and Exhibitor Tasting: Friday 3 November