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On Saturday 19 August, Chairman of Judges Philip Rich announced the results of the inaugural Australian Pinot Noir Challenge Trophy.

Over two days, judges tasted 242 wines from across Australia. Each region was judged in its own class (provided the region had more than five entries).

There were 23 wines that scored 95 points, and in the end, five regions fought it out for the top prize, each producing a top gold in their respective region - and representing their region in the trophy taste off.  

Chairman Philip Rich said he was delighted with the standard of entries. “The results highlight the excitement, diversity and depth of pinot noir in Australia, and we are incredibly excited about the future of the challenge. We were really pleased with the support of the industry in the challenge’s inaugural year and look forward to building on these fantastic results in 2018,” he said.

“In my mind, Australian pinot noir has really come of age in recent years. Some of the wines we’ve seen this week have been of such a high level, and would stand up on the world stage,” fellow judge Jim Chatto added.   

The judges congratulate the winner of the 2017 Australian Pinot Noir Challenge trophy - Yes Said the Seal from Geelong, Victoria. The winery is a new venture for Lyndsay and David Sharp, long-term vintners on the Bellarine Peninsula, with winemaker Darren Burke.

“We are all absolutely ecstatic to be awarded the inaugural trophy at the Australian Pinot Noir Challenge.  It is a credit to the skill and dedication of our winemaker, Darren Burke who spent hours nurturing our beloved front block here at sister vineyard, Leura Park Estate," Director Lyndsay Sharp said.

"The award is also a wonderful result for Geelong and The Bellarine. To be recognised at this level reinforces the fact that this great part of Victoria stands tall on the national stage," Ms Sharp added.

AUSTRALIAN PINOT NOIR CHALLENGE TROPHY WINNER:

Yes said the Seal Pinot Noir 2016