15 November 2023. Words by YGOW.
Registrations for the 18th 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 18 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. Lauren Langfield of Orbis Wines will join the YGOW tasting panel in 2023, after being involved as a finalist in successive years before being named the 2023 Young Gun of Wine.
“Participating in the YGOW Awards really gets you thinking about your brand, your career journey, and to really question what you value – a task which we don’t have time for when we are often busy running small businesses, and often balancing day jobs as well,” says Langfield.
The program of events and editorials provide an opportunity to show your work to buyers who wouldn’t otherwise discover your product. As Langfield points out, “The trade tastings are highly valuable. The YGOW team bring together wine buyers and somms from some of the best restaurants, wine bars and retail stores in each city. It’s a bit like a speed dating tour. You’ll be really good as succinctly defining your brand and wines by the end of the tour, and have made some great introductions for selling wines too!”
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.
“It’s too easy to become insular in your little pocket of the wine industry, either due to geographic location of wine regions, or being surrounded by familiar winemakers. YGOW is such a unique forum to meet with other winemakers from around the country, to taste wines you mightn’t normally taste, and talk shop with others – all approaching wine with different ideas, and to build a network around Australia. There’s a lot to learn from the other finalists, and it’s great to connect others going through similar challenges. I made some great new friends through YGOW.”
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.
Langfield knows full well what winemakers going through.
Registrations for the 2024 YGOW Awards are closing December 2023.
The 2023 Young Gun of Wine Awards are presented with thanks to our winemaker awards partners: Amorim corks, Cornershop design, Liebherr wine cabinets, Nexia Australia accountants, Sanector, Vintrace software and WBM magazine.