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 entirely 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.
*Please see FAQ below re age limit.
- Registrations open: June 29, 2017
- Primary registrations close: August 11, 2017
- National event tour: September-December, 2017
- Late registrations close: December 31, 2017
- Judging: March, 2018
- Top 50 Announcement: April 2018
- Top 50 tasting event: May 2018
- People’s Choice (Final 12 only) events: June 2018 (Melbourne & Sydney, dates TBC)
- Trophy presentation: June (final date TBC), 2018
- Show and sell wines at one of the national events, September-December [*For those that register by August 11].
- Build relationships through our media and retail partners.
- 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 by our media partner.
- For those who make the Final 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 September-December events – ie, these can be different wines to the wines submitted at start of 2018 for judging.
- At start of 2018 you decide which two of your wines to submit for judging.
- Should you make it to the Top 50, if you are under duress with supply of your two wines submitted for judging, you may show alternate wine at the Top 50 event.
- Should you make it to the Final 12 in contention for trophies, the two wines shown at the People’s Choice events and trophy presentation must be the same as the two wines submitted for judging.
- Registration forms: Complete the registration form at Trybooking
- National event tour:
- We will contact all winemakers with the date and venue options before the end of August. Events will run during September-December (2017).
- At these events, winemakers are free to show wines that may be different to the wines later submitted for judging.
- Judging will be held by March 2018.
- Winemakers are to submit two wines for the judging. We will provide further details in December (2017) re conditions of entry, delivery details, etc. The two wines submitted must be the same two wines shown at public events in June (2018).
- Attendance and pouring at one of the events held between September-December is optional
- Submit two wines for judging at start of 2018 (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 by March, 2018) for media purposes.
- $200 plus GST contribution to production and marketing costs of the Top 50 tasting event, which will be a sales opportunity in conjunction with our retail partner, will be payable by May 2018.
- Pour or arrange to have a representative pour your two wines at the Top 50 consumer sales event in May. If you are under duress with supply of your two wines submitted for judging, you may show alternate wine at the Top 50 event.
- If amongst the Final 12:
- Your two wines supplied through the Final 12 activity must be the same as the two wines submitted for judging.
- Send nine bottles of each of the two wines by May, for trophy presentation and promotion purposes.
- 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.
- Attend the trophy presentation – June 2018.
$200 plus GST (closes August 11, 2017) for one winemaker or a winemaking partnership. This fee covers:
- Promotion through one of the national events, September-December 2017.
- Submission of two wines for judging by March.
- For the 12 finalists, facilitation of the relevant event and marketing activity.
- 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.
For the Top 50, $200 plus GST contribution to production and marketing costs of the Top 50 tasting event, which will be a sales opportunity in conjunction with our retail partner, will be payable by May 2018.
How to register
Complete the registration form at Trybooking by August 11. We will then be in touch before the end of August.
Is there an age limit on entrants?
If entering as a sole winemaker, the registrant must be born after 01/07/1972. If entering as a winemaking partnership, at least one of the winemakers must be born after 01/07/1972.
Can I enter more than two wines for the judging?
You can only enter the competition once, and must submit no more and no less than two wines (for the judging by March).
Are the two wines entered for judging the same wines shown at the events?
- You are free to show different wines at the national event tour, September-December 2017.
- The two wines submitted for judging at start of 2018 must be the same two wines that will be shown at the Final 12 events in June 2018, should you reach through to that stage.
- If you are under duress with supply of your two wines submitted for judging, you may show alternate wine at the Top 50 event in May 2018.
How do I submit the wines for judging?
The judging is held by March, 2018. We will contact all registrants 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 (The Lucas Group), Josh Elias (Alquimie), Mike Bennie (The Wine Front, Delicious, et al), Pip Anderson (MONA), Emma Farrelly (State Buildings), Michael Downer (Murdoch Hill, 2017 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 Final 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 by April, the Final 12 by May and the trophy winners in June.
If I make it into the Final 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 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 September-December national events at this stage?
We don’t confirm the dates until after registrations are in by August 11 so we know how many winemakers we’re potentially placing in each event. There will be multiple event options over this period; winemakers may attend one of these events, but attendance is not mandatory.