30 March 2017. Words by YGOW.
2017 is our eleventh year, and for the first time we are announcing the Top 50 list of Australia’s best young and emerging winemakers.
Rory Kent, Young Gun of Wine founder, described how the Top 50 list is a response to the increasing creativity in wine: “The number of new producers is growing each year. Over the last decade, we’ve seen an explosion across the wine scene, from the number of young independent producers, and the varieties and methods they use, through to the way consumers can engage with wine.
“Every year the judges have discussed a notional list of the 50 best emerging producers. Thanks to the growing depth and quality of winemaking talent in Australia, we’ve felt the timing was now right to assemble the judges and the field of candidates for a comparative tasting, and then present this Top 50 list to consumers as a snapshot of wine today and the products to seek out.”
The judges recently convened over two days to taste through the wares from around 200 winemakers.
Unlike traditional wine competitions, Young Gun of Wine is not judged in a blind tasting. Commenting the process, Mike Bennie said, “It’s great to see a judging event take not only wine and its inherent quality into consideration, but the context from which it comes from and the culture that surrounds the winemaker’s intent. This is a dramatically different and seriously engaging judging experience. It’s one of the most enlightening and interesting judging events on my calendar.”
Continuing about the soon to be revealed Top 50 list, Bennie added, “Winemakers, and their wares, come in all shapes and sizes, creeds and colours, and indeed the Top 50 is a bold statement about the technicolour nature of Australian wine. It’s an affirmation that wine, of all types and styles, and the winemakers who produce it, are to be celebrated, and that the axis point for Australian wine culture’s near future, comes from youthful intent.”
Helping to judge Young Gun of Wine for the first time, Emma Farrelly of the State Buildings in Perth, said it enabled her an opportunity to discover new winemakers to be stocked at the venues whose lists she manages. “The Young Gun of Wine competition has catapulted so many small winemakers to a national level of recognition which is incredibly beneficial for young Australian winemakers. These guys are the future of Australian wine and it has never been a more exciting time in my opinion.
“The wines that struck me the most were the wines that really told the story and personality of the maker. Where they have been, where they are going. Also where they come from. Wines that have a sense of place.”
The Young Gun of Wine Top 50 winemakers will be revealed in a presentation hosted by the judges on Wednesday 10 May.
A limited number of tickets to the presentation and after party are available via Eventbrite.