Nick Glaetzer reflects on landmark Jimmy Watson win: S11E3

Glaetzer-Dixon Family Wines made history in 2011 when it became the first Tasmanian winery to win the Jimmy Watson – Australia’s most prestigious wine prize – at the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards.

Winemaker Nick Glaetzer has been celebrating the milestone with a highly limited museum release of his winning wine, the 2010 Mon Pere Shiraz, and he joins us today on the Drinks Adventures podcast.

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He’ll update you on other recent happenings at Glaetzer-Dixon, which planted a new 12-hectare vineyard in the Coal River Valley in 2018, and is currently preparing to release new vintages of La Judith Pinot Noir, named for Nick’s mother who sadly passed away in 2014.

First up though, I asked Nick about the significance of that Jimmy Watson award, both for him and the Tasmanian wine industry generally.

Nick Glaetzer of Glaetzer-Dixon Family Wines
Nick Glaetzer of Glaetzer-Dixon Family Wines

“In the seventies Wolf Blass famously said the Jimmy Watson was worth a million dollars to
the winning producer, such is the esteem and selling-power associated with the trophy. I
often joke that Wolf owes me about $950,000,” Nick says.

“The trophy had traditionally gone to bigger mainland producers – never before to a
Tasmanian winemaker. For me it was a bitter-sweet victory in a way because, as a tiny
Tassie producer, there was a limit to what I could sell.”

That said, the impact of the trophy win resulted in huge recognition for Nick’s winemaking
and for Tasmanian wine more generally, helping to put the Apple Isle on the map as a super
premium producer of sophisticated cool climate reds.

Figures from industry body Wine Tasmania show that shiraz (also known as syrah) plantings in Tasmania have increased by 14% since 2011, compared with growth across all other varieties of 4%.

In 2021 in Tasmania, shiraz/syrah production exceeded cabernet production for the first time.

More:
How Tasmania lured gun winemaker Samantha Connew: S10E2
Wolf Blass Wines: The evolution of an Australian icon – S9 Bonus
The NBA’s wine obsession, with Baxter Holmes of ESPN

Author: James Atkinson

Journalist specialising in the food, drink, travel and hospitality arenas. Australian International Beer Awards 2017 Media Award Winner and Certified Cicerone®.

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