Young Gun of Wine, Australia’s premier wine awards has announced its Final 12 winemakers for 2019. Following a nationwide search for the best young winemakers in the country, 50 winemakers have been narrowed down to 12.

The Final 12 consist of four winemakers each from Western Australia and Victoria and three from South Australia. Andrew Scott from La Petite Mort in the Granite Belt Region has secured the first ever Final 12 place for Queensland.

Four women — winemaking duo Liv Maiorana & Mijan Patterson from South by South West, Vanessa Altman from Switch Organic Wine and Genevieve Mann from Corymbia — have secured places in the top 12. It’s a relatively high number considering just 10 per cent of Australia’s winemakers are women.

Trophies up for grabs this year include the Young Gun Of Wine, Best New Act, Winemaker’s Choice, People’s Choice, and “First Drop” Danger Zone, which will be awarded to the most adventurous wine that was selected in the Top 50.

The judges for 2019 include Rory Kent (founder of YGOW), Nick Stock (chief judge, Gourmet Traveller wine, et al), Mike Bennie (Delicious, et al), Pip Anderson (MONA), Josephine Perry of Dormilona (2016 Young Gun of Wine winner), Rob Mack of Aphelion Wine Co (2018 Young Gun of Wine winner), Penny Grant (Ghanem group sommelier – BlackBird Brisbane and Donna Chang), and international guest judge Leah Rinadli from the USA’s leading distributor of natural wines, Jenny & Francois. Each judge tasted over 250 wines over two days at King & Godfree to determine the finalists.

For wine buffs wanting a sample of the action, public tastings are being held at Porteño Events in Sydney on Wednesday the 29 May and at St Martins Youth Arts Centre in Melbourne on Saturday the 1 June to determine the People’s Choice winner. Open for every wine lover, attendees will be asked to taste each wine presented by the Final 12 and vote on their favourite on the day.

The Final 12 winemakers (via state) are as follows:


Andrew Scott from La Petite Mort, Granite Belt (Muscat / Gewurztraminer, Durif / Mataro)

South Australia

Damon Koerner from Koerner Wine, Clare Valley (Riesling, Sangiovese / Grenache / Sciacarello / Malbec)

Sacha La Forgia from Adelaide Hills Distillery, Adelaide Hills (Chenin Black, Chenin Blanc / Syrah / Grenache)

Vanessa Altmann from Switch Organic Wine, Eden Valley / McLaren Vale (Pinot Noir, Viognier)


Ben Ranken from Wilimee, Macedon Ranges (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir)

Jayden Ong from Jayden Ong/One Block, Yarra Valley (Pinot Gris, Syrah)

Shaun Crinion from Dappled Wines, Yarra Valley (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir)

Simon Killeen from Simao & Co Wines, Rutherglen / North East Victoria (Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir)

Western Australia

Genevieve Mann & Rob Mann from Corymbia, Swan Valley (Chenin Blanc, Tempranillo / Malbec / Cabernet Sauvignon)

Liv Maiorana & Mijan Patterson from South by South West, Margaret River (Chardonnay, Malbec / Cabernet Sauvignon / Shiraz / Petit Verdot)

Remi Guise from tripe.Iscariot, Margaret River (Chardonnay, Syrah)

Rhys Parker & Paul Hoffman from Swan Valley Wines / Vallée du Venom, Margaret River / Swan Valley (Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc)


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