Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the Year, proudly supported by Perpetual, is now in its 22nd year and continues to shine a light on those responsible for creating Australia’s finest wines. The vastly experienced judging panel chaired by Peter Forrestal includes Peter Bourne, Nick Bulleid MW, Huon Hooke, Andrew Caillard MW, Mike Bennie and Toni Paterson MW. A brief look at the illustrious list of past winners offers insight into the discerning nature of the panel. Year after year, its deep understanding of the industry results in a diverse field of winemakers taking home gongs.
His wines are a benchmark for Australian pinot noir, his name synonymous with fine Tasmanian expressions of the demanding grape – the Winemaker of the Year for 2019 is none other than Jim Chatto. The judges all found him a worthy winner, not just for his work on his eponymous label, but also for his leadership at McWilliam’s Wines.
This year Tasmania has scored a double win, with the award for Young Winemaker of the Year going to Jonny Hughes of Mewstone and Hughes & Hughes for his clear focus and assured direction. Nick Dry, who heads up Yalumba’s vine nursery, deservedly received the Viticulturist of the Year award, while Franck Moreau MS’s transformation of the sommelier scene in Australia, and indeed his influence on wine lists around the country, makes him the recipient for the Len Evans Award for Leadership.