Young Gun of Wine 2017
Young Gun of Wine 2017

Whether it’s bold and innovative techniques in the vineyards, pushing winemaking boundaries or experimentation with non-traditional varieties, Australian wine’s new breed have a fresh attitude and approach. The desire to embrace the funky and gritty art of winemaking has led to wines that are truly exciting and capture a revolution in the glass. These are the people and the wines that are celebrated with the Young Gun of Wine Awards. They are selected for their leadership, their vision, their talent and their influence on the evolution of the Australian wine community. 

'This competition is relevant; this competition is real. It all makes sense and it all links back to the Australian wine community.'

Nick Stock, wine writer

The Young Gun of Wine is back for 2017 and Wine Australia is proud to be one of the sponsors of these awards. The award brings together a group of young but very inspiring winemakers.

'The judging for this award takes place in an open format. There's music, there's atmosphere, there's food... The wines just aren't isolated in a laboratory style format in terms of their assessment. This means that the wines are relevant to people buying them from a bottle shop or at a restaurant.'

Mike Bennie, wine writer

The Top 12 winemakers vying to be named Young Gun of Wine have been announced, congratulations to everyone nominated. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Young Gun of Wine Top 12 for 2017...

Vanessa Altmann, Switch Organic Wine, Eden Valley and Langhorne Creek

Switch Organic Wine is NASAA certified. At 19, Vanessa began working at Temple Bruer Wines and later achieved a Bachelor of Applied Wine Science. She then began creating wines that prompt people to think about the way we as a society are consumers. She likes her labels to "prompt conversation, instigate thought and reignite connections to the world we live in".

Chris Carpenter, Lark Hill Biodynamic Wines, Canberra District

Lark Hill was established in 1978 by Sue and Dave Carpenter when Chris joined in 2002. 2008 was the first biodynamic vintage wine that Chris produced. "Integrity" is the one word Chris uses to describe his entire philosophy for wine growing.

Michael Downer, Murdoch Hill, Adelaide Hills

The youngest family member to make the wine. Michael studied Oenology at Adelaide Uni and travelled the world, worked in Barolo, Italy, as a harvester before returning to Australia and working in Victoria, he then went to work with the family in 2012. Has expanded the family business from four wines to 12. Michael looks for vibrancy, freshness and drinkability in his wines.

Peter Dredge, Meadowbank, Tasmania

Wines that are made with minimal intervention to truly represent the vineyard site and the season they were grown in. Produced using biological and sustainable farming methods in the Yarra Valley, Victoria.

Ricky Evans, Two Tonne Tasmania, Tasmania 

Two Tonne Tasmania began in early 2013. The simple and literal title reflects what they are all about. Ricky studied at the University of Adelaide. Unsure of what to do with his life while he was at school, Ricky worked full time wine maker at Bay of Fires. After Uni, Evans completed a vintage in Napa Valley. In 2010 he returned home to work as a harvester at Bay of Fires. He has also worked in Mosel Valley (Germany), United Kingdom and Vietti, Barolo (Italy). Ricky won People's Choice Award for Young Guns of Wine in 2016. 

Remi Guise, tripe. Iscariot, Margaret River

Born in South Africa, Remi studied a four year degree in Viticulture and Oenology at the University of Stellenbosch. He moved to Margaret River in 2002 and applies the nose to tail technique when making his whole breast wine created to challenge and change the status quo of the homogenous wines that are out there at the moment.

Charlotte Hardy, Charlotte Dalton Wines, Adelaide Hills

Charlotte has been making wines for over 15 years now. She has worked at Craggy Range (NZ), Chateau Giscours (Bordeaux) and David Abrean (California). She returned to South Australia and has remained there since 2007. Charlotte has a Bachelor of Wine Science from Charles Sturt University. She launched a wine lab at the end of 2008 and created Charlotte Dalton Wines in 2015. Her wines are known to be all about fun, friends and merriment. Dalton is her middle name, and the christian name of her grandfather Hardy.

Anna Hooper, Cape Jaffa, Limestone Coast

Surfer and Wine maker. Big focus on producing wine sustainably. Cape Jaffa Wine is biodynamic. Won South Australian Rural Woman of the Year 2013 for her vision to help the wine industry become a world environmental leader.

John Hughes, Rieslingfreak, Clare Valley and Eden Valley

The first vintage of RieslingFreak was in 2009. John created the Kicking Goals Scholarship for children in the Barossa Valley with disabilities. John Hughes himself has slight cerebral palsy. He completed a diploma of Wine Marketing at Adelaide Uni and spent 10 years at the Australian Wine Research Institute. He has travelled to Germany to further knowledge.

Rob Mack, Aphelion Wine Co., McLaren Vale

Rob has a business degree from UTS and completed an Advanced Wine Assessment course as well as a WSET Level 3 Certificate. He graduated from Charles Sturt Uni in 2016 after six years of study. He emphasizes quality and value. Concentrated on grape varieties that thrive in the Mediterranean climate of McClaren Vale, producing stylish Grenache as well as other regionally emerging varieties. Rob's wine is paired well with Italian, Mediterranean and Asian.

Andries Mostert and Yoko Luscher-Mostert, Brave New Wine, Great Southern

Husband and wife from Denmark in WA, Andries and Yoko are aiming to allow the quality of Great Southern fruit shine through and express who they are as people and winemakers. Andries started as an architect but moved to Margaret River to gain knowledge in winemaking, he studied Oenology at Adelaide Uni. The couple have travelled all over Australia, NZ and a little of Italy. They make "risky" wines such as the Doppleganger.

Stuart Proud, Proud Primary Produce, Yarra Valley

Wines that are made with minimal intervention to truly represent the vineyard site and the season they were grown in. Produced using biological and sustainable farming methods in the Yarra Valley, Victoria.

Congratulations also go to the top 50 winemakers of Young Gun of Wine 2017 (and in no particular order) are:

Key dates to remember:

  • Sydney 2017 People's Choice Decider 24th May - Get tickets here
  • Melbourne 2017 People's Choice Decider 19th June - Get tickets here
  • Winner of Young Gun of Wine 2017 will be announced 20th June 


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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.