22 October 2021. Words by YGOW.
Registrations for the 16th Annual Young Gun of Wine Awards are now open.
Open to those making all forms of wine, from the experimental to the traditional, whether under their own label or employed by a wine company, the YGOW Awards are designed to celebrate and showcase young wine labels and winemakers on the rise.
And alongside the dedicated vineyard and viticulture awards we launched in 2020, in our last edition of the YGOW Winemaker Awards we introduced a trophy to recognise a vigneron – a winemaker who grows the grapes from which the wines come – as part of our ongoing pursuit to provide a platform for dedicated professionals and educate audiences.
But we don’t just applaud the trophy winners. As a celebration of Australian wine, last year we profiled the work of 50 winemakers.
“Our community of wine people has grown and grown over 16 years,” says YGOW founder Rory Kent in calling for winemakers and vignerons to step forward. “We love discovering new products, sharing the stories of winemakers and connecting these people to our community of wine lovers and Wineslinger professionals around the country.”
We want to see familiar faces, too. Charlotte Hardy of Charlotte Dalton Wines was the 2021 Young Gun of Wine. She was a first-time finalist in 2016, before walking away with the top trophy five years later.
“I love the holistic approach to the YGOW Awards,” says Hardy. “It’s not a blind tasting of 1,000 wines – these ‘wine shows’ of course have their place, but I love how YGOW looks at all the aspects of a brand. It’s not just about the wine but also about the person producing them. It delves into the whys and hows behind a brand.
“I think winemakers are notorious for getting totally submerged in the creating, dreaming and passion of the wines, so to be challenged to actually think about why you do it is a rewarding process. In my own experience of entering the awards, I found it valuable to gain some clarity into why I do what I do in proper words – not just because I love it.”
It’s also an opportunity for winemakers to get out of their regions and promote to consumers and trade, as well as develop relationships with fellow winemakers from around Australia. As Hardy says, “And just do it to meet others and totally enjoy the ride. It’s fun.”
If the trophies are your thing, then we say, “You need to be in it to win it!” There are six winemaker trophies up for grabs: Best New Act, People’s Choice, Winemaker’s Choice, Young Gun of Wine, the Danger Zone (which goes to the most adventurous wine) and The Vigneron.
Charlotte will join the YGOW tasting panel in 2022. She knows what you’re going through.
Registrations for the 2022 YGOW Awards are closing December 2021.
The 2022 Young Gun of Wine Awards are presented with thanks to our winemaker awards partners: Amorim corks, Cornershop design, Liebherr wine cabinets, Multi-Color Australia labels, Parallax Design, Portavin bottling, Vintrace software and WBM magazine.