2023 Young Gun of Wine Trophy Winner’s Cancer Battle

7 September 2023. Words by YGOW.

It was shocking to learn the other day that Nick Dugmore of Stoke Wines, the ‘Vigneron’ trophy winner at the 2023 Young Gun of Wine Awards, was recently diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer. Nick is just 38, and he has two young children with his wife, Bec.

Nick is one of the nicest people in the wine game, generous of spirit and well loved. He is also a seriously talented grower and maker who has set his sights on championing his beloved region of Kangaroo Island, which rarely gets due attention.

All of that is now paused, but we can all help.

“It has been a serious curveball for us and was a tough wait to find out what the deal is,” wrote Nick on sharing the diagnosis. “It is not in our family, and I have been told it was just really bad luck…

“I want to talk about this, and I want people to ask me about it. I want to get educated and help to educate with what I learn. In the last two weeks I have spoken to a heap of cancer survivors, and they are my new heroes. …I’m going to write about my experience as it makes me feel better. Will share it soon.”

At this year’s Young Gun of Wine Awards, Nick Dugmore was named The Vigneron trophy winner. His Stoke brand is a tribute to the largely untapped potential of Kangaroo Island as a premium wine-growing region. His wines are expressive of the relatively cool, wind-swept vineyards of KI, with a focus on lighter to midweight styles with food and conviviality in mind.

The road ahead is a tough one, and it’s a long one. With a young family and wine business that is built around tireless work amongst the vines, Nick and Bec need all the help they can get. The hard physical labour will simply not be possible during some stages of treatment and recovery. While their friends are many, they really need our support, too.

Thankfully, there’s more than one way to help.

As Nick wrote, “…my health and family have become my number one priority. We have postponed our Spring Release party but have put the new wines up on the website. If you’re keen to support, a purchase would mean a huge amount right now. I swear the wines are good.”

The wines are excellent, of course.

The other way is through a GoFundMe set up by fellow Young Gun alum Lauren Langfield and viticulturist Anton Groffen, who are both close friends of Nick and Bec.

Nick and Bec Dugmore. Nick is just 38, and the pair have two young children.

“With all the doctors and hospital visits ahead, all we want to see is Duggie focusing on his health and his family, his beautiful wife Bec and their two young kids. We want to leave the hard slog in the vineyard and winery to the contract labourers… but this takes money!” says Langfield.

The path involves chemotherapy and radiotherapy, possibly followed by surgery, and that process will continue deep into 2024.

“I know so many of us want to help, so let’s dig deep and help keep the Australian Young Gun of Wine 2023 Vigneron of the Year’s Kangaroo Island vineyard going without him for the year while he puts in the big fight!” continues Langfield.

The money will help. The goodwill, too. Please help if you can, whether by buying wine or donating, or both. Let’s all try and get this precious young family through this.

Please help if you can:

Nick’s GoFundMe

Stoke Wines online shop

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