Iconic Langhorne Creek Winery wins top honour at Royal Melbourne Wine Awards

South Australia’s Bleasdale Vineyards’ 2018 The Wild Fig S.G.M was awarded the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy for Best Young Red at the 2019 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards (RMWA) presentation dinner held on Thursday 17 October.

The Wild Fig S.G.M is a blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre sourced from Langhorne Creek and produced by Bleasdale Vineyards Winemaker Paul Hotker. This is the first time a blend has taken home this top trophy since 2008.

The Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy is the Australian wine industry’s most coveted award. The trophy is awarded to the best one or two-year-old red wine and is named after the legendary Jimmy Watson who championed table wine at his Carlton wine bar.

Amongst the wineries taking home the top awards were Shaw + Smith who were awarded the prestigious Francois De Castella trophy for Best Young White Wine for their 2018 vintage Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay. Chardonnay continued to shine with Handpicked Wines awarded the Douglas Seabrook Trophy for Best Single Vineyard Wine and Best Chardonnay for their 2017 Capella Vineyard Chardonnay. Handpicked Wines Vineyard Manager, Capella Vineyard, Karl Roberts, was awarded the Kym Ludvigsen Trophy for viticultural excellence.

Conducted by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) for over 135 years, the RMWA gives producers the opportunity to benchmark their wines against industry standards, seek advice from an independent panel of experts, and promote and market award winning products using the RMWA’s seal of excellence.

RASV CEO Paul Guerra says the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria has been enabling the wine community to celebrate and showcase their passion for over 135 years.

“The Royal Melbourne Wine Awards provides highly valued recognition for the best Australian wines and wineries each year. The top three awards – Jimmy Watson, Francois De Castella and Trevor Mast – are some of the most respected winemaking awards in the country and are recognised both nationally and internationally,” Mr. Guerra said.

This year saw the introduction of the new innovative judging and awarding of Shiraz wines, the Best State Shiraz trophies. The winners of each state trophy were tasted off against each other to award the Trevor Mast Trophy for Best Shiraz. This year’s Trevor Mast Trophy was awarded to Western Australia based Frankland Estate Wines’ Isolation Ridge Vineyard Shiraz 2017 vintage.

The James Halliday Trophy for Best Pinot Noir went to a Tasmanian winery for the fifth consecutive year with Pressing Matters taking home the trophy for their 2017 Pinot Noir.

Reflecting on another big year for the RMWA and the incredible success of so many producers, Paul Guerra says the Awards are a wonderful way to recognise Australia’s leading wine producers.

“With more than 3,050 entries, the producers who took out this year’s major trophies, including Bleasdale Vineyards, Frankland Estate Wines, Shaw + Smith and more should be extremely proud of their achievements. The Royal Melbourne Wine Awards provide our winemakers with a unique and valuable platform to leverage their success locally and internationally through the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards seal of excellence”.

More than 3,050 wines were tasted over five days during October at Melbourne Showgrounds by a judging panel of 37 industry experts led by Head Judge and winemaker, Matt Harrop.

Discussing the 2019 judging process, Chair of Judges Matt Harrop was proud of the 2019 awards and thankful for the winemakers that support the magnificent event.

“In the Australian wine industry, the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards is the pinnacle event. The results of this year’s RMWA reflect the dedication, hard work and expertise of winegrowers across this great country,” stated Mr Harrop.

The full list of this year’s trophy winners can be viewed below.



2019 Trophy Winning Wines


The Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy For Best Young Red
Bleasdale Vineyards Pty Ltd, The Wild Fig SGM - 2018

The Francois De Castella Trophy for Best Young White
Shaw + Smith Pty Ltd, Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay - 2018

The Trevor Mast Trophy for Best Shiraz
Frankland Estate Wines Pty Ltd, Isolation Ridge Vineyard Shiraz - 2017

The James Halliday Trophy for Best Pinot Noir
Pressing Matters, Pressing Matters - 2017

The Douglas Seabrook Trophy for Best Single Vineyard Wine Presented By Seabrook Wines
Handpicked Wines, Capella Vineyard Chardonnay - 2017

The Bill Chambers Trophy for Best Fortified Wine
Morris Wines Pty Ltd, Old Premium Rare Muscat - NV

The Kym Ludvigsen Trophy for Viticultural Excellence
Karl Roberts, Handpicked Wines, Capella Vineyard

The Victorian Trophy for Red Wines of Provenance
Paringa Estate (Aust) Pty Ltd, Paringa Estate Estate Pinot Noir - 2018, 2013 and 2008

The Victorian Trophy for White Wines of Provenance
B Seppelt & Sons Pty Ltd, Seppelt Drumborg Riesling - 2019, 2011 and 2005

Best Semillon
Tyrrell’s Vineyards Pty Ltd, Belford Semillon - 2014

Best Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Associated Varieties
Xanadu Wines Pty Ltd, Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon - 2017

Best Chardonnay
Handpicked Wines, Capella Vineyard Chardonnay - 2017

Best Grenache Presented By Portavin
Geddes Wines, Seldom Inn - 2018

Best New South Wales Shiraz
Robert Oatley Vineyards, Montrose Black Mudgee Shiraz - 2018

Best Organic or Biodynamic Wine Trophy
Frankland Estate Wines Pty Ltd, Isolation Ridge Vineyard Shiraz - 2017

Best Pinot Grigio
Joval Family Wines Pty Ltd, Tar&Roses Pinot Grigio - 2019

Best Red Blend Presented By Kubota
Bleasdale Vineyards Pty Ltd, The Wild Fig SGM - 2018

Best Riesling
Wirra Wirra, The Lost Watch - 2019

Best Rosé Presented By Labelhouse
Brokenwood Wines, 2019 Brokenwood Rosato - 2019

Best Sauvignon Blanc Presented By Portavin
Larry Cherubino Wines, The Yard Channybearup Sauvignon Blanc - 2018

Best Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon Blend Presented By O-I Glass
Tamburlaine Organic Wines, Tamburlaine 2018 Marlowe - Act One - 2018

Best Single Varietal Red
Seppeltsfield Wines Pty Ltd, Seppeltsfield Village Barossa Nero D’Avola - 2019

Best Single Varietal White
Hahndorf Hill Winery, Hahndorf Hill White Mischief Gruner Veltliner - 2019

Best South Australian Shiraz
The Lane Vineyard, The Lane Vineyard ‘Block 5’ - 2018

Best Sparkling
Brown Family Wine Group, Brown Brothers Pinot Noir Chardonnay & Pinot Meunier - NV

Best Sweet White Wine
Riversdale Estate, Riversdale Estate Botrytis Riesling - 2014

Best Victorian Shiraz
Paringa Estate (Aust) Pty Ltd, 2018 Paringa Estate Peninsula Shiraz - 2018

Best Western Australian Shiraz
Frankland Estate Wines Pty Ltd, Isolation Ridge Vineyard Shiraz - 2017

Best White Blend Presented By Labelhouse
Houghton, Houghton Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc Semillon - 2019