Final 12 Winemakers in the 2019 Awards

29 April 2019. Words by YGOW.

Following the recent Top 50 event, today we announce the Final 12 winemakers contending for trophies in the 13th annual Young Gun of Wine Awards… the best-of-the-best young wine labels and winemakers on the rise for 2019.

The Final 12 consist of four labels from Western Australia, four from Victoria, three from South Australia, and in good news for the Sunshine State, Andrew Scott from La Petite Mort in the Granite Belt Region has secured the first ever Final 12 place for Queensland in Young Gun of Wine’s 13 year history.

Not only is there the top prize of the 2019 Riedel YOUNG GUN OF WINE to be won, there is the BEST NEW ACT, PEOPLE’S CHOICE, the WINEMAKER’S CHOICE awards up for grabs.

So, here it is… State-by-state, the Final 12 for 2019 are:

Andrew Scott from La Petite Mort, Granite Belt

Damon Koerner from Koerner Wine, Clare Valley
Sacha La Forgia from Adelaide Hills Distillery, Adelaide Hills
Vanessa Altmann from Switch Organic Wine, Eden Valley / McLaren Vale

Ben Ranken from Wilimee, Macedon Ranges
Jayden Ong from Jayden Ong/One Block, Yarra Valley
Shaun Crinion from Dappled Wines, Yarra Valley
Simon Killeen from Simao & Co Wines, Rutherglen / North East Victoria

Genevieve Mann & Rob Mann from Corymbia, Swan Valley
Liv Maiorana & Mijan Patterson from South by South West, Margaret River
Remi Guise from tripe.Iscariot, Margaret River
Rhys Parker & Paul Hoffman from Vallée du Venom, Margaret River / Swan Valley

The panel for 2019 include Rory Kent (Founder of YGOW), Nick Stock (Chief Panellist, Gourmet Traveller WINE, et al), Mike Bennie (Delicious, et al), Pip Anderson (MONA), Josephine Perry of Dormilona (2016 Young Gun of Wine winner), Rob Mack of Aphelion Wine Co (2018 Young Gun of Wine winner), Penny Grant (Ghanem Group Sommelier – BlackBird Brisbane and Donna Chang), and international guest judge Leah Rinadli from USA’s leading distributor of natural wines, Jenny & Francois, who each tasted over 250 wines over two days at King & Godfree to determine the finalists.

Commenting on the Top 50 and Final 12, chief panellist Nick Stock offered:

“The competition to make the final 12 is huge, we agonise over this cut. It has always been a tough cut to make because the strength, skill and capability of new-generation winemakers in Australia is a fast-growing force. That means it is very tough to make the top 12. We aren’t really looking for trends, and neither are these winemakers, it’s not about that. At this level it’s a game of authenticity, confidence and capability – and making delicious wine of course!”

In the countdown to the Final 12 Trophy presentation there will be a People’s Choice event held in Sydney on Thursday May 30 at 6pm, and in Melbourne on Saturday June 1 at 12pm.

The overall winners of the various trophies will be announced at The Young Gun of Wine Awards held on June 3, an invitation only presentation, to be held in Adelaide for the first time in the 13 year history of The Awards.

Young Gun of Wine founder, Rory Kent said, “We’re tremendously excited to bring the Awards to Adelaide for the first time in our 13 year history. It’s long overdue. South Australia has shown to be the creative heart of Australian winemaking: each year, around half the wines submitted for our tasting panel come from south Australia, and if you look at the final results since 2007, South Australia have taken eight of the 12 top annual trophies. Furthermore, Adelaide is such a cultural hub for food and wine, blessed with Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale right on the doorstep. It’s a wonderful place, and we can’t wait to be there for the final dance of 2019.”

In addition to the winemaker awards, the winner of the First Drop DANGER ZONE – going to the most adventurous wine from the entire show – will be announced on the night.

The Final 12 winemakers are coming to Sydney and Melbourne, on Thursday May 30 and Saturday June 1. These events are hosted by leading wine purveyors, Best Cellars (Sydney) and City Wine Shop (Melbourne). Tickets (strictly limited) are $55 (or $45 for Earlybirds) and include all tastings and a Riedel wineglass to keep.

For full details and bookings, see Eventbrite:
Sydney, 6pm Thursday May 30

Melbourne, 12pm Saturday June 1

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