Australian Pinot Noir Challenge

Mon 9th Sep 2024 > Tue 10th Sep 2024

2024 Australian Pinot Noir Challenge

The Australian Pinot Noir Challenge seeks to benchmark the best of Australia’s pinot noir regions and pinot noir wines each year to assess the quality, regional variation and themes emerging from winemaking and regional expressions. Pinot noir is the fourth most crushed red wine variety in Australia, achieves high-value premiumisation growth year-on-year, and is one of the fastest growing drink categories in the market, making the Australian Pinot Noir Challenge ever more important as a guide to pinot noir consumers and winemakers as we grow, make and consume more homegrown pinot noir wine.

 

Important Dates:

Entries open on Monday 29 July 2024

Entries close Friday 19 August 2024

Exhibits must be delivered during the period Monday 19 August to Friday 6 September 2024

Judging will take place on Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 September 2024

Trophy announcement at a dinner on Thursday 3 October 2024

 

 

2023 Australian Pinot Noir Challenge

 

Tasmania wins fourth consecutive Australian Pinot Challenge

At a gala dinner at Cutler & Co in Melbourne on 5 October, Tasmania was announced as the winner with its 2022 Meadowbank Pinot Noir made by winemaking legend, Peter Dredge,  marking the fourth win for Tasmania in the show's six-year history.  

After the top three wines were decided, it was an epic battle for top spot with the Yarra Valley and Adelaide Hills also in close contention.  Many hours of deliberation ensued, with the judging panel, Chaired by Matt Harrop of Curly Flat Vineyard, agreeing that the Tasmanian entrant deserved the trophy.

Located in the Derwent Valley, Meadowbank is owned by the Ellis family and is regarded as a pioneer in Tasmanian viticulture, with Gerald Ellis planting vines on his property in 1976 despite wide scepticism.  The warm days and cool nights have proved to be ideal for Pinot Noir with Meadowbank producing fruit of near ethereal quality.  Today, father and daughter duo, Gerald and Mardi, manage the prestigious vineyard.

Mardi Ellis is elated with the win.   "What an honour and what an exhilarating ride!  We feel extremely humbled and excited to receive this award.  When Dad (Gerald Ellis) first started Meadowbank almost 50 years ago, he was told you couldn't grow grapes in the cold wilderness of Tasmania.  For our Pinot Noir to be recognised in this fabulous way is a not to Gerald's intuitive defiance, Pete's deft winemaking and our family's ongoing stewardship and respect for this magical place."  Ellis exclaimed.

Peter Dredge has been at the winemaking helm at Meadowbank since 2015 and has worked closely with the vineyard since 2010.  In 2017 he was awarded the People's Choice award at the Young Gun of Wine Awards and in 2020 he was a top 8 finalist for Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the year.

"It has been such a pleasure to work with this beautiful vineyard for 13 years now.  Since becoming a partner with Meadowbank, our soul focus has been reinvigorating the single vineyard releases by honing in on the strengths and weaknesses of the vineyard which is abound with climatic challenges.  It feels like the work and dedication may finally be coming to fruition.  We would never presume to work harder than any other pinot noir producer in the country.  We all work our arses off.  If you know pinot, you know...bastard of a thing it is."  Peter Dredge commented.

Regional Trophy Winners​

Geelong - 2022 Mulline Portarlington Pinot Noir

Gippsland - 2022 Dirty Three "Magic Dirt" Pinot Noir

Adelaide Hills - 2022 Turon Wines Hills Pinot Noir

Mornington Peninsula - 2022 Montalto Pennon Hill Pinot Noir

Yarra Valley - 2022 Oakridge Vineyard Series Willowlake Pinot Noir

Tasmania - 2022 Meadowbank Pinot Noir

Lindsay McCall, Chair of the Australian Pinot Noir Challenge is delighted to see such strong representation across 18 premium pinot noir producing regions.  Entries have grown close to 20% on the previous year which is testament to the show's growing reputation and its ability to amplify sales and brand recognition for its past winners.

"Australia is universally recognised as a premium pinot noir producing country.  Our competitive edge is the outstanding quality of pinot produced in so many cool climate regions." McCall said.

"The Australian Pinot Noir Challenge celebrates the incredible wines from all regions and the ethereal nature of this complex and captivating variety that has become the world's most exclusive and expensive wine."  he concluded.

 

Download full results here.

 

Visit the Pinot Challenge Website

 

2021 Results

 

2022 Results