Peppers Experience

Winning the Jimmy Watson, Australia’s Million Dollar Wine Award

Nick Stock, Award-winning Wine Critic
Nick Stock - Award-winning Wine Critic

Nick Stock - Award winning wine critic

There’s an old saying that winning the ‘Jimmy’ is worth a million dollars to your business, but these days it’s worth much more than that. It used to make the evening news on TV but, in the age of digital marketing and communication, the entire world knows you’ve struck it rich in a matter of mere seconds.

Australia’s highest profile wine trophy, the Jimmy Watson, is the top gong at the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards and winning it means you can literally sell your entire production overnight. Collect the trophy at the awards dinner then go to sleep after a few celebratory Champagnes and by the time you wake up the inbox will be overflowing with orders.

This year’s winning wine sold out in record time. It hails from the southernmost winegrowing region in Tasmania, the Huon Valley, and only hundreds, not thousands, of cases were made. The winery is called Home Hill and the winning wine was the 2014 Kelly’s Reserve Pinot Noir.

Home Hill is no stranger to awards, as their pinots have been recognised by a number of other wine shows, but this is a game changing moment for the tiny producer. Nestled only a short drive south of Hobart, Home Hill’s tiny vineyard is an immaculate setting for their stylish restaurant and cellar door. They’re tucked out of the way down in the beautiful and tranquil Huon River Valley but now everyone will beat a path to their door.

Terry and Rosemary Bennett established Home Hill as a small, high-quality pinot noir-focused project and winning the Jimmy Watson is a credit to their dedication to quality winegrowing. Another local couple, Paul and Gilli Lipscombe, are responsible for Home Hill’s viticulture and winemaking and they must also take credit for the award. They have their own tiny pinot noir project called Sailor Seeks Horse which you should definitely track down if you are a pinot lover.

The Jimmy Watson has now been awarded twice to Tasmanian wines (Glaetzer Dixon won it with a Shiraz in 2011) and this latest award herald’s success, not just for Home Hill, but for all growers of great Tasmanian pinot noir. Their collective reputation has been steadily on the rise for the last decade and this is a huge endorsement for the whole category.

I’m mad about Tassie pinot and I’ll make sure it is featured in as many of my wine events throughout the year with Peppers. In fact, we’re pouring a great Tassie Pinot from a winery called Dalrymple at the Great Wines of Australia dinner this month at Peppers Salt Resort & Spa. I’m betting it’ll be one of the standout wines and that is really saying something because there’s going to be a whole lot of great wine on the table!

You’ll find all the details and more when you check out the Peppers Gourmet Food Trail. 

Cheers and see you at Peppers!

To read more of Nick's blogs click here

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