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The 15th Annual Young Gun of Wine Awards is Now Open

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Words by YGOW.

The Young Gun of Wine Awards – designed to celebrate and showcase both young wine labels and winemakers on the rise – is now open for registrations.

Held every year since its inception in 2007, the Awards is now into its 15th consecutive year, with not even COVID interrupting the annual event.

With Australia in lockdown, we took 2020’s edition online, running eight virtual events to showcase the 50 winemaker finalists from all corners of Australia. With all those makers in contention, our final trophy presentation was also a virtual event, which included appearances from wine royalty, including Jancis Robinson MW.

In an evolution of the Awards, for the first time in our 15-year history, we will now be providing feedback to winemakers on their entries from the panel tasting. As well, we are creating a new trophy to recognise the best vigneron winemaker – that is, for a winemaker who is also managing the vines.

In an evolution of the Awards, for the first time in our 15-year history, we will now be providing feedback to winemakers on their entries from the panel tasting. As well, we are creating a new trophy to recognise the best vigneron winemaker – that is, for a winemaker who is also managing the vines.

“The aim of these Awards is to provide a platform for emerging people and businesses, to foster creativity, and to unite a diverse group of winemakers that represent the gamut of geography, wine styles and ideas in Australia, from experimental and natural wines to refined versions of the classics, whether still, sparkling, fortified or even infused,” says Young Gun founder Rory Kent.

“Added to that, we want to talk more about the role of the vineyard in the finished wine, and the art of viticulture, and so we are introducing an award that will single out a winemaker that is managing the vines.”

Uniquely, the YGOW Awards are about the person: winemakers submit two wines that may tell a story about their body of work, and our panel looks at the two wines from each maker side by side. Beyond the glass, we take into account the winemaker’s creativity and leadership, and what it all represents in today’s context.

Our aim is to curate and celebrate a large group of finalists, and share their stories with all forms of wine buyers. All finalists will have a profile of themselves, their brand and their wines written for the YGOW website, with additional in-depth articles, social media engagement and virtual or in-person trade and consumer events in the lead-up to the trophy presentation.

With our audience of committed wine lovers across digital channels, and complemented by our Wineslinger Awards for hospitality, Young Gun of Wine is the shortcut to all the cutting edge in wine.

The YGOW Awards is open to young wine labels, as well as winemakers on the rise employed in established wineries. We’re inviting all eligible winemakers to come get amongst it.

If the trophies are your thing, then we say, “You need to be in it to win it!” While the 2019 YGOW entered four times before walking away with a trophy, in 2020 Dilworth & Allain walked away with the top gong in their first year, taking out both the best New Act and the Young Gun of Wine. Anything could happen.

There are now six winemaker trophies up for grabs in 2021: with the as-yet-to-be-named trophy for viticulture being added to the Best New Act, People’s Choice, Winemaker’s Choice, Young Gun of Wine and the Danger Zone (which goes to the most adventurous wine).

For more details, please see: younggunofwine.com/registrations

Winemakers – Register now. Get amongst it here: trybooking.com/BMNQR

Hear what the winemakers say

“Participating in the YGOW Awards opened a networking path which has been really important for our business and its growth.
“It’s a special and unique program that offers emerging winemakers an opportunity to showcase their work to a broad audience, from industry professionals to wine lovers.
“Having taken the top trophy last year, we’re thrilled to be involved in the upcoming 15th annual YGOW Awards panel tasting, and being able to discover and discuss the work of fellow winemakers.” Chris Dilworth and Loique Allian, Dilworth and Allain.

“Don’t underestimate the reach of YGOW! For a young, small West Australian producer like us, being part of the YGOW was invaluable exposure, particularly in the Eastern States. With very few expectations prior to entering YGOW, it’s one wild ride that’s a lot of fun and is so important in terms of showcasing the breath of diversity of the young Australian winemaking landscape.” Genevieve Mann, Corymbia

“What do I love about the YGOW awards? Absolutely everything! A wealth of passionate and free spirited Australian wine growers, an all-star industry leading judging panel and a series of fantastic nationwide events!” Fraser McKinley, Sami-Odi

“For me, the greatest benefit of participating in YGOW has been the people I have met and friends I have made. The events bring together the best emerging winemakers and young labels from all over the country. The more we interact and talk about what we are doing, the better we will all get, which will only improve the status of the Australian wine industry, and benefit all of us in the long run.” Damon Koerner, Koerner Wine

“For us, the experience of YGOW has been a wild ride. It really has rocketed our brand and boosted sales on the east coast.
“As part of the YGOW experience we gained some added publicity through State and National print media mentions which promoted our wine label, increased our mailing list, social media followers, enquiries, and ultimately sales.
“One of the best parts of our YGOW experience was meeting a whole bunch of intuitive and interesting winemakers who are really pushing boundaries and making delicious wines, along with making great contacts and friends along the way.” Liv Maiorana &Mijan Patterson, South by South West