Melbourne Royal first introduced the Melbourne Royal Wine Show in 1884 and in its first year there were just 13 entries. Since then, the competition has grown rapidly, now receiving more than 3,000 entries each year.

Many vineyards have a long history of exhibiting at the Melbourne Royal Wine Awards. Chateau Tahbilk and Bernard Gehrig of Barnawartha were exhibitors in 1892. The owners of Yeringberg in the Yarra Valley, the De Pury family, also appear as an exhibitor in records from the 1890s. 

The Melbourne Royal Wine Awards boasts the country’s best-known individual wine award, the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy for Best Young Red Wine. The ‘Jimmy’ is named after the much-loved Carlton wine merchant and wine bar owner. 

The François de Castella Trophy for Best Young White Wine commemorates the life and work of the Victorian Government viticulturist François de Castella (1867 - 1953). 

The Douglas Seabrook Single Vineyard Trophy honours three generations of the Seabrook family, wine merchants and chairs of judges at the Melbourne Royal Wine Awards. 

The Melbourne Royal Wine Awards is recognised both within the industry and by the general public as one of Australia’s most prestigious wine awards. It brings together the very best in Australian wine and is renowned as a benchmark of excellence in wine production.