25 November 2022. Words by YGOW.
Registrations for the 17th 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 our dedicated vineyard and viticulture awards, in the YGOW Winemaker Awards we have 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 all the top winemakers presented.
“Our community of wine people has grown and grown over 17 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. Ryan Ponsford of Entropy Wines will join the YGOW tasting panel in 2023, after being involved as a finalist in successive years before being named the 2022 Young Gun of Wine.
“I had followed the YGOW Awards as soon as I entered the industry and I first entered the awards because I wanted the wines to be seen. I’m making wine in a reasonably unexplored, unknown region and I wanted this place to be seen as well,” says Ponsford.
“I’d say don’t enter to win. Enter because you care about what you’re doing and enter to show your wines to people who care about wine. They’re your greatest ally in this industry and if they see that you actually give a shit they will back you.”
The program of events and editorials provide an opportunity to show your work to buyers who wouldn’t otherwise discover your product. As Ponsford says, “For me It’s all about the industry seeing what you’re doing and making. The wine industry can be slow to change and I had to do everything I could to plant my flag. The YGOW Awards is the perfect vehicle for a new wine label to show they exist.”
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.
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.
Ponsford knows full well what winemakers going through. “In 2023 I’ll be looking for someone who cares. It’s real easy to start a wine label, anyone can ferment fruit from anywhere without any real understanding of place and there’s absolutely something lost in that translation. I hope to see some people who care about the place the fruit is coming from, even if they aren’t yet growing the grapes themselves.”
Registrations for the 2023 YGOW Awards are closing December 2022.
The 2023 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, Sanector, Vintrace software and WBM magazine.