Who we are looking for

The thing about emerging wine producers is they’re a source of innovation, inspiration and new ideas. They’re not shackled by conventions. They’re free. Wide-eyed; adventurous; eager to travel; to experiment; to remix, they question everything. They create energy. They excite. And this is how they lead.

Our definition of a young gun is not about a date of birth. It’s about this spirit and being young at heart. We’ve had a number of past finalists over 40 – because, really, it takes a lot to make impressive wine.

Whether they’re employed by an established company or running their own show; whether they’re refining traditional styles or getting radical, we want to provide a platform for these people and their ideas.

They come in all forms. Our definition of a winemaker isn’t limited to the person who presses the fruit and racks the wine. Steve Jobs didn’t assemble the circuitry in Apple products, but he’s the one, isn’t he.

These awards are about gathering the like-minded and uniquely individual talents together, rallying eclectic and far flung tastes, making noise, getting them noticed and having a ripping time along the way.

  • Entries open: August 5, 2016
  • Entries close: September 16, 2016
  • Qualifying events: October-November, 2016
  • Judging: March, 2017
  • Top 50 Announcement: April 2017
  • Top 12 Announcement: May 2017
  • People’s Choice (Top 12 only) events: June 2017 (Melbourne & Sydney, dates TBC)
  • Trophy presentation: June (final date between 20th-22nd TBC), 2017

  • Show and sell wines at the qualification events, October-November.
  • Build relationships through Sommeliers Australia.
  • Show your wines to leaders across wine communication, hospitality and retail.
  • Promote to consumers through our events and social media.
  • In essence, make some noise, get noticed and have a ripping time along the way!
  • For those who make the Top 50, each winemaker will be profiled in a special publication by Alquimie.
  • For those who make the top 12, we will organise sales events with our retail partners in Melbourne and Sydney.

Showing and submitting wines
  • You may show any wines you like at the October and November qualification events – ie, these can be different wines to the wines submitted in March for judging.
  • In March you decide which two of your wines to submit for judging, and these must be the same two wines shown at any later activity through to the trophy presentation.

Entry process
  • Entry forms: Complete entry form at Trybooking by September 16
  • Qualification events:
    • We will contact all winemakers with the date and venue options by September 30. Events will run during October and November (2016).
    • Winemakers may attend an event in their own state or travel to another state or even attend multiple events.
    • Events in each state are subject to a minimum number of 20 entries from the home state.
    • Winemakers are free to show wines at these qualification events which may be different to the wines later submitted for judging.
  • Judging:
    • Judging will be held in March 2017.
    • Winemakers are to submit two wines for the judging. We will provide further details in December (2016) re conditions of entry, delivery details, etc. The two wines submitted must be the same two wines shown at public events in June (2017).

  • Attend one qualification event in October or November (2016) and pour two of your wines.
  • Submit two wines for judging by March 2017 (further details will be provided in December, 2016).
  • If amongst the Top 50, send three bottles of each of the two wines by April (further details will be provided in March, 2017).
  • If amongst the Top 12, send nine bottles of each of the two wines by May (further details will be provided in April, 2017).
  • Pour or arrange to have a representative pour your two wines at consumer sales events in June (dates TBC) with our retail partner – this is a sales opportunity for you. It is recommended you have at least three dozen of each wine available to sell to the retailer at each of the Melbourne and Sydney sales events.
  • If amongst the Top 12, attend the trophy presentation – June (final date between 20th-22nd TBC) 2017.


$150 plus GST (closes September 16, 2016) for one winemaker or a winemaking partnership. This fee covers:

  • Facilitation of qualification events in October and November.
  • Submission of two wines for judging in March.
  • For Top 50 and Top 12 finalists, facilitation of relevant events and marketing activity.

Please note:

  • A winemaker can only enter once. Unlike other wine shows, there are no unlimited entries for the Young Gun of Wine.
  • There are no refunds.

How to enter

Complete the entry form at Trybooking by September 16. We will then be in touch by September 30.


Can I enter more than two wines?
You can only enter the competition once, and must submit no more and no less than two wines (for the judging in March). The two wines submitted for judging in March must be the same two wines that will be shown in Top 50 and Top 12 events, should you reach through to those stages. However, you are free to show different wines at the qualification events in October and November.

Are the two wines entered for judging the same wines shown at the events?
You are free to show any of your two wines at the qualification events in October and November. In fact, you can show wines at multiple qualification events in this period, and present different wines each time. However, the wines submitted in March for final judging must be the same two wines that will be shown in Top 50 and Top 12 events, should you reach through to those stages.

How do I submit the wines for judging?
The judging is in March. We will contact all entrants in December with further details for submitting wines.

Do my two wines need to be from the same producer?
Not necessarily. These two wines may come from one brand or two separate labels made by the same winemaker.

Can I enter as a winemaking partnership?
Yes. Please note, if entering two brands by a winemaking partnership, both wines submitted must be made by the duo – ie, not one label each from two individuals.

Any advice about which two wines to send in for the judging in March?
Part of the competition is having to choose which two wines to enter. Put your best foot forward. The wines have to be delicious. First and foremost, the winemaker is assessed on what is in the glass, and then broader topics such as the winemaker’s vision, leadership, creativity and execution comes into the discussion.

Who are the judges?
The judges include Nick Stock (jamessuckling.com, Gourmet Traveller WINE, et al), Rory Kent (Executive Style), Philip Rich (Financial Review Magazine and The Lucas Group), Josh Elias (Alquimie), Mike Bennie (The Wine Front, Delicious, et al), Pip Anderson (MONA) and Josephine Perry (Dormilona, 2016 Young Gun of Wine). Further judges to be announced.

Can I send a barrel sample or blend that has not yet been bottled?
The wines submitted for judging must be available to sell in June for the events (for the Top 12) with our retail partners to determine the People’ Choice award winner. You are welcome to submit a wine that has not yet been bottled, so long as the same wine (same blend) will be available for the People’s Choice events in June. However, please be advised that whilst such a sample may get as far as the Top 12, the judges will not award the Young Gun of Wine trophy to a winemaker with an unbottled wine.

What if my wine is not labelled?
It’s in your best interest to have your wine labelled, however, submitting a labelled product for judging is not mandatory.

Can I get feedback about my wines from the judging?
No feedback is provided from the judges. The only results provided are the announcements of the Top 50 in April, the Top 12 in May and the trophy winners in June.

If I make it into the Top 12, how many wines do I need for the sales events?
It is recommended you have at least three dozen of each wine available to sell to the retailer at each of the Melbourne and Sydney “People’s Choice” sales events (two events total) in June. Please also set aside 4-6 bottles as pouring samples for each of these two events.

I want to show wines I have now, but these will be all sold out by June next year. What should I do?
If you have a wine or wines that you already know you’d like to submit for the judging in March and People’s Choice events, but expect these to be sold out soon, we recommend you put aside 7+ dozen of each wine for the sample and sales requirements.

Have you got firm dates for the October and November qualifying events at this stage?
We don’t confirm the dates until after applications are in by September 16 so we know how many winemakers we’re potentially placing in each event. There will be multiple event options over this period and winemakers only need to attend one (but may attend more than one).