Young Gun of Wine has announced the 2020 Top 50 winemakers – with over half named for the very first time.
The Top 50 includes 17 winemakers from Victoria, 14 from South Australia, six from NSW/ACT, six from Western Australia, six from Tasmania and one from Queensland with the Young Gun winner being announced on June 1.
The mix of winemakers showcases the adventure and artistry in winegrowing from Australia right now. There are unique stories throughout each of the 50, such as:
Michael Sexton from Main & Cherry in the Adelaide Hills – in the Top 50 for the first time: to help with his small-scale operation, Sexton eschews chemicals in the vineyard and opts for Indian Runner ducks to do the work of pest control for his vines.
James Broinowski from Tasmania, another newcomer, was able to start his label, Small Island Wines, after a successful crowdfunding venture led to him buying a batch of pinot noir grapes – a sure-fire lesson in persistence. – Back again in the mix is Andrew Scott from La Petite Mort, the only Queenslander, uses ‘amphoras’ – an ancient type of fermentation vessel made of terracotta.
There’s a Moscato from Victoria made with beer hops added by one winemaker, while another has infused Chenin Blanc from Western Australia with pine resin.
Young Gun of Wine Founder Rory Kent said: “In an age where tribes have formed within the wine scene, the beauty of the Young Gun of Wine Awards is that it brings together a disparate group. The wines made by the Top 50 winemakers represent all corners, from experimental and natural wines to refined versions of the classics, whether still, sparkling, fortified or even infused, and from Tasmania to Western Australia to Queensland, and everywhere in between. They’re wines that are a reflection of winemakers that push the boundaries of capabilities and ideas.
“The 2020 list represents a truly diverse collection of the best and latest in Australia right now, and the coming virtual events are an opportunity for wine lovers anywhere to connect with one another and gain some further understanding of the making behind the wines.”
The 2020 YGOW Awards panel tasted around 250 wines over two days at Howard Smith Wharves to come together with the final Top 50 list.
Chef David Moyle said of his experience as a panellist: “There was hearty debate, I changed my mind a few times. Due time and focus was given to such a diverse range of Australia’s finest young winemakers and heck there were some great things. From classic and restrained to expressive and polarising, it was such a treat to taste and discuss in a room full of champions. Great times for Australian wine in the hands of the future.”
Along with Moyle, the panel included a host of Australia’s most respected wine critics, food journalists and sommeliers, including: Rory Kent (founder of YGOW), Charlotte Hardy (Charlotte Dalton Wines), Damon Koerner (Koerner Wine, the 2019 YGOW), Ian Trinkle (Howard Smith Wharves group sommelier), Jane Lopes (Attica wine director & Good Food Magazine contributor), Jessica Ho (Time Out Melbourne food editor), Katie Spain (wine contributor to The Advertiser, Gourmet Traveller, WBM), Louella Mathews (Bibo Wine Bar), Max Veenhuyzen (food and wine contributor to Broadsheet; Gourmet Traveller), Nick Stock (wine critic), Pip Anderson (sommelier, MONA), Penny Grant (Ghanem Group sommelier – Blackbird Bar & Grill, Donna Chang, et al), Tony Harper (food & wine reviewer at The Courier Mail, and owner of Craft Wine Store) and Samantha Teague (Concrete Playground deputy editor).
For the first time, Young Gun of Wine will be hosting a series of virtual events in May to showcase the Top 50 winemakers. The interactive video events will feature the Top 50 winemakers and other experts, where participants can ask questions live. Beyond interactive, the event will be experiential, where people can (if they wish) purchase the wines to be featured in advance of the tasting. Tickets are free – but bookings are essential, as the events will be a private broadcast. Bookings via the events link at younggunofwine.com
People’s Choice voting is live online via younggunofwine.com/peopleschoice
The Young Gun Top 50 list via state is as follows:
Daniel Payne from Dirt Candy Wine, Hunter Valley
Angus Vinden from The Vinden Headcase, Hunter Valley
Steve Mobbs from Dreaded Friend / Wallington Wines, Central Ranges
Will Gilbert from Gilbert, Orange/Mudgee
Tom Ward from Swinging Bridge, Orange
Samuel Leyshon from Mallaluka, Canberra District
Andrew Scott from Le Petite Mort, Granite Belt
Sholto Broderick & Louis Broderick from Basket Range Wine, Adelaide Hills
Dylan Lee from Bird in Hand, Adelaide Hills
James Hamilton from Golden Child, Adelaide Hills
Michael Sexton from Main & Cherry, Adelaide Hills
Sarah Adamson from Scout Wines, Adelaide Hills/New Zealand
Tarrant Hansen from Spider Bill Wines, Adelaide Hills
Alyson Tannenbaum from Vinteloper, Adelaide Hills
Andre Bondar from Bondar Wines, McLaren Vale/Adelaide Hills
Charles Seppelt & Skye Salter from Paralian Wines, McLaren Vale
Mauricio Ruiz Cantu & Benjamin Caldwell from Somos, McLaren Vale
Con-Greg Grigoriou from Delinquente Wine Co, Riverland
Ansel Ashby from Gatch Wine, Riverland/Adelaide Hills/Clare Valley
Steve Crawford from Frederick Stevenson, Barossa Valley Eden Valley/ Adelaide Hills
Nick Dugmore from The Stoke Wines, Kangaroo Island
Jonathan Hughes from Mewstone Wines, Tasmania
Greer Carland from Quiet Mutiny, Tasmania
Gilli & Paul Lipscombe from Sailor Seeks Horse, Tasmania
James Broinowski from Small Island Wines, Tasmania
Ricky Evans from Two Tonne Tasmania
Hugh McCullough from Wellington & Wolfe, Tasmania
Chris Catlow from Sentio, Beechworth
Raquel Jones from Weathercraft, Beechworth
Natasha Webster from Empire of Dirt Wines, Geelong
Ben Mullen from Mulline, Geelong
Justin Purser from Dhiaga, Mornington Peninsula
Glen Hayley from Kooyong/Port Phillip Estate, Mornington Peninsula
Tara & Matthew Campbell from Mattara Wines, Mornington Peninsula/ Grampians
Alexander Byrne from Noisy Ritual, Melbourne Geelong/Sunbury/King Valley/Heathcote/Mornington/Gippsland/Grampians/Pyrenees
Chris Bendle from DCB Wine, Yarra Valley
Tim Perrin from from Oakridge Wines, Yarra Valley
Hadyn Black from Black & Ginger, Great Western/Grampians/Henty/Pyrenees
Leighton Joy from Pyren Vineyard, Pyrenees
Chris Dilworth & Loique Allain from Dilworth & Allain, Macedon Ranges
Renata Morello from Lyons Will Estate, Macedon Ranges
Ben Ranken from Wilimee, Macedon Ranges
Bart Van Olphen from Chalmers, Heathcote/Mildura
Jonathan Ross from Micro Wines, Geelong/Barossa Valley
Alexi Christidis from Chalari Wines, Perth Hills, Swan Valley
Garth Cliff from Vino Volta, Swan Valley/Swan District/Geographe/Perth Hills
Natasha Arthur from Arthur Wines, Margaret River
Dylan Arvidson from LS Merchants, Margaret River/Frankland River
Remi Guise from tripe.Iscariot, Margaret River
Kim Tyrer from Galafrey Wines, Mount Barker
Pictured main: Brothers Damon and Jono Koerner from Koerner Wine in the Clare Valley won the top 2019 Riedel Young Gun of Wine award.