Steadfast and ready, the Young Gun of Wine (YGOW) showcase is here, for the twelfth year in a row.

There is no shortage of amazing winemakers here in Australia, making the 2018 Top 50 a difficult decision. This year’s Top 50 is made of: 19 from South Australia; 12 from Victoria; 10 from Western Australia; 4 from Tasmania and NSW/ACT; and the first ever Queenslander in the mix, Golden Grove’s Ray Costanzo.

Holding court in the Top 50 are Jimmy Watson Award winner (Australia’s most prestigious trophy for a red wine), Julian Langworthy of Goon Tycoons; powerhouse sommelier-turned-winemaker duo behind Athletes of Wine, Matthew Brooke and Liam O’Brien; and South Australian Steve Crawford who has set up a winery in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD, to name only a few.

“The Top 50 highlights the multi-dimensional diversity of Australian wine. The judges spent two days benchmarking around 300 wines from some 150 winemakers to find the best of the best. What you end up with in the Top 50 is not just a snapshot of great products from all grape growing corners of Australia, and the gamut of varieties, but also the intersection of ideas, philosophies, and the individual trajectory of the winemakers involved”, says YGOW founder Rory Kent.

“Now into the 12th year of Young Gun of Wine, year by year we get a gauge on trends and where wine is heading, and we can clearly see the creative rise and rise of the industry. Such this the depth of talent now, from last year, over 60% of winemakers are new to the Top 50 list, so that’s really exciting”.

This year welcomes an all-star judging panel, including last year’s Gourmet Traveller Sommelier of The Year Caitlyn Rees, Good Food Guide WA Sommelier of The Year Emma Farrelly, 2017 Young Gun of Wine winner, Michael downer of Murdoch Hill; Rosetta’s Lisa Cardelli; who all sit alongside YGOW veteran judges, Mike Bennie, Nick Stock, MONA’s Pip Anderson, and Rory Kent.

“It was a real privilege to judge many wines over two days from some leading lights of the Australian wine industry, not only that but alongside some of the best palates in the country!”, said first-time judge Caitlyn Rees.

YGOW 2018 Judging Michael Downer Mike Benie Caitlyn Rees Nick STock Pip Anderson Emma Farrelly Lisa cardelli

The 2018 winemaker showcase accelerates by bringing accessibility to the forefront, with the Top 50 public ticketed event at Prahran Market from 7pm – 10pm on Saturday 12th May. Guests can get up close and personal with this year’s Top 50 winemakers, tasting two of each of their wines, as well as ask them any burning questions surrounding their technique and wine practices. With eats from Wilson & Market, Maker & Monger and The Mussel Pot, Prahran Market will turn into a wine lover’s wonderland.

Bookings to the Top 50 winemaker showcase via Eventbrite: YGOWTop50.eventbrite.com

The Top 50 list via State is as follows:

VICTORIA
• Jo Marsh from Billy Button, Alpine Valleys
• Melanie Chester from Sutton Grange Winery, Bendigo
• Justin Purser from Best’s Great Western, Great Western
• Ben Ranken from Wilimee & Galli Estate, Heathcote
• Katherine Brown from Brown Brothers, King Valley / Heathcote / Yarra Valley
• Rebecca & Adrian Santolin from Santolin Wines, Yarra Valley / Heathcote
• Liam O’Brien & Matthew Brooke from Athletes of Wine, Macedon Ranges / King Valley
• Shaun Crinion from Dappled Wines, Yarra Valley
• Glen Hayley from Kooyong Wines, Mornington Peninsula
• Marcus Satchell from Dirty Three Wines, Gippsland
• Ben Mullen from Clyde Park Vineyard, Geelong
• Jackson Brooke from Jackson Brooke Wine, Henty

SOUTH AUSTRALIA
• Ben Cooke from Cooke Brothers Wines, Adelaide Hills
• Jono Hersey from Hersey Vineyards, Adelaide Hills
• Matt Broomhead from Three Dark Horses, Adelaide Hills
• Phillip LeMessurier from Corduroy Wines, Adelaide Hills
• Greg Clack from Chain of Ponds, Adelaide Hills
• Alex Head from Head Wines, Adelaide Hills
• Damon Koerner from Koerner Wine, Clare Valley
• Steven Baraglia from Naked Run Wines & Pike Wines, Clare Valley
• Vanessa Altmann from Switch Organic Wine, Eden Valley
• John Hughes from Rieslingfreak, Eden Valley
• David Geyer from Geyer Wine Co., Barossa Valley / Eden Valley
• Steve Crawford from Frederick Stevenson & Giovanni Armani Giorgio, Barossa Valley
• Josh Pfeiffer from Whistler, Barossa Valley
• Michael Papps from Yelland & Papps, Barossa Valley
• Alex Sherrah from Sherrah Wines, McLaren Vale
• Andre Bondar from Bondar Wines, McLaren Vale
• Rob Mack from Aphelion Wine Co., McLaren Vale
• Matt East from Rouleur, McLaren Vale
• Con-Greg Grigoriou from Delinquente Wine Co, Riverland

WESTERN AUSTRALIA
• Daniel Stocker from Heretic Wines, Margaret River
• Julian Grounds from McHenry Hohnen, Margaret River
• Kate Morgan from Ipso Facto Wines, Margaret River
• Dylan Arvidson from LS Merchants, Margaret River
• Nicolas Peterkin from L.A.S Vino, Margaret River
• Remi Guise from tripe.Iscariot, Margaret River
• Julian Langworthy & John Fogarty from Goon Tycoons, Frankland River / Margaret River
• Brian Kent from Frankland Estate, Frankland River
• Kim Tyrer from Galafrey Wines, Mt Barker
• Andries Mostert & Yoko Luscher-Mostert from Brave New Wine, Great Southern

NEW SOUTH WALES/ACT
• William Rikard-Bell from Rikard Wines, Orange
• Kate Sturgess from Brokenwood Wines, Hunter Valley
• Chris Carpenter from Lark Hill Winery, Canberra District
• Hamish Young from Mada Wines, Canberra District

TASMANIA
• Ricky Evans from Two Tonne, Tamar Valley
• Peter Dredge from Meadowbank, Derwent Valley
• Jonathan Hughes from Mewstone, D’Entrecasteaux Channel (Flowerpot)
• Gilli & Paul Lipscombe from Sailor Seeks Horse, Huon Valley

QUEENSLAND
• Ray Costanzo from Golden Grove Estate, Granite Belt