Young Gun of Wine award winners announced

22 June, 2017 by
Madeline Woolway

On Tuesday 20 June, Young Gun of Wine announced the winners of its 2017 awards.

Now in its eleventh year running, Young Gun of Wine searches for, showcases and celebrates new and emerging winemakers.

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Trophies presented on the night were Wine Australia Best New Act, People’s Choice, Ocean Eight Winemaker’s Choice and the Riedel Young Gun of Wine. These trophies were awarded to the people that make the wines, whilst the First Drop Danger Zone, also presented, is an award for a single product.

The top 12 finalists were joined at POW Kitchen & Bandroom at the Prince of Wales by to celebrate the eleventh annual awards ceremony.

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The prestigious Riedel Young Gun of Wine was awarded to Michael Downer from Murdoch Hill in the Adelaide Hills. Downer was presented with his trophy by the 2016 winner, Josephine Perry of Dormilona in Margaret River.

“The 2017 Top 50 is an awesome list of winemakers, and then I felt making the Final 12 was such an achievement. To now be titled Young Gun of Wine, and join a list of winemakers that I consider to be some of the most admired winemakers in Australia, is an unbelievable honour,” said Downer.

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The People’s Choice went to Peter Dredge with his Meadowbank wines – a newly launched label from a well-established grape supplying vineyard in Tasmania. The People’s Choice was decided at two public tasting events held in Sydney and Melbourne.

“We couldn’t be happier with the recognition from the people and consider this such an awesome start to Meadowbank’s new journey.  Thanks so much to the young guns judges, sponsors and those who attended the people’s choice events in Sydney and Melbourne,” said Dredge.

The Ocean Eight Winemaker’s Choice, voted by the 12 finalists, was awarded to John Hughes of Rieslingfreak.

“Receiving the vote of my peers, and fellow winemakers, means so much to me, and probably the most valued feedback and reward an individual winemaker could ever ask for,” said Hughes.

The Wine Australia Best New Act was taken out by Rob Mack from Aphelion, based inMcLaren Vale.

“It was an amazing experience to be part of this competition and to have our little wine label recognised by the judges as the Best New Act is beyond my wildest dreams. This is phenomenal kick start for our label.”

The First Drop Danger Zone going to the “most adventurous wine” was also presented on the evening, going to Brave New Wine’s 2016 Wonderland Botanical Riesling – a Riesling infused with native botanicals, made in the Great Southern region of Western Australia.

“It’s wonderful to be recognised for this wine which was an experiment for us. No other wine show in Australia would enable us to show our style of wines, which are a bit risky in winemaking approach and unconventional in style. It’s great to be recognised through Young Gun of Wine,” said Yoko Luscher-Mostert of Brave New Wine.

These award winners were chosen from 200 winemaker candidates. A Top 50 was announced earlier this year, ahead of the Final 12, each in contention for the winemaker trophies.

The 2017 judges included Nick Stock (Gourmet Traveller WINE, et al) Mike Bennie (Delicious, et al), Emma Farrelly (State Building), Philip Rich (The Lucas Group), Pip Anderson (MONA), Josh Elias (Alquimie), Rory Kent (Young Gun of Wine founder and Executive Style) and Josephine Perry (Dormilona, 2016 Young Gun of Wine winner).

The full list of the 2017 Top 50 can be found on the Young Gun of Wine website.