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We Want to Find New Voices in Wine

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5 March 2021. Words by YGOW.

Young Gun of Wine started in 2007 with an event to connect emerging winemakers to new wine drinkers. That’s what was needed then.

We started off giving a platform to winemakers, then our brilliant Wineslingers across the country, and most recently we’ve shone a spotlight on the unsung heroes of wine: the vineyards and those that tend them. Now, we want to find new voices to join the more familiar ones, to give new writers and communicators a chance to provide their own unique take on the world of wine.

This is what wine needs now.

So, we’re starting a program for new writers that will include mentoring and our commitment to publish the work at younggunofwine.com.

The process is outlined below, but in short, it’ll include mentoring sessions specifically designed to help develop a piece of writing, as well as to provide the opportunity to tap into the broader wisdom of some of Australia’s very best food and wine writers.

Our mentors are Pat Nourse and Sophie Otton.

Pat Nourse is one of Australia’s most respected restaurant critics, food writers and editors. He is currently the Creative Director at Food and Wine Victoria, where he “revels in the business of sparking ideas, collaborating on their development and sharing them with the world”. Nourse has been involved in journalism for 20 years, with his last role being Managing Editor of Gourmet Traveller.

“It’s an honour to be part of a project designed to mentor young and emerging wine writers,” says Nourse. “The Young Gun team has a fantastic track record of bringing great talent to wider attention and acclaim, and New Voices in Wine is a shot in the arm that I’m sure will be welcomed by the wine press, winemakers and drinkers alike.”

“New Voices in Wine is a shot in the arm that I’m sure will be welcomed by the wine press, winemakers and drinkers alike.”
Above: Pat Nourse (photo credit: Anders Jorgensen). Opposite: Sophie Otton, judging at the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show.
“New Voices in Wine is an initiative that will invite aspiring writers to present wine stories that reflect their own experience, perspective, opinion and style... seeking to find fresh and diverse material from untapped talent.”

With over 20 years’ experience, Sophie Otton is a wine and restaurant consultant, sommelier and wine journalist. She’s run the wine program for institutions such as Kylie Kwong’s Billy Kwong and Rockpool Bar and Grill, Sydney. She’s been a national winner of the Negociants Working with Wine Fellowship, twice a finalist in the Vin de Champagne Awards and attended the inaugural Len Evans Tutorial. Otton is also wine judge and certified sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, and in 2009 won the Judy Hirst Award for the sommelier responsible for the Wine List of the Year. Opened in 2018, Otton also owns and runs She Loves You, a wine bar in Newtown, Sydney.

“It goes without saying that those who have had the good fortune to be published should support and encourage those with similar ambitions,” says Otton. “New Voices in Wine is an initiative that will invite aspiring writers to present wine stories that reflect their own experience, perspective, opinion and style. I am excited to be part of a project that is actively seeking to find fresh and diverse material from untapped talent.”

We’re asking anyone with a passion for writing and wine to apply now. We’ll accept people from both inside and outside the wine industry.

We are looking for new voices, so don’t be afraid of taking an unusual angle, a path less trodden. Be controversial if you will, but not for the sake of it; make it interesting and entertaining. It’s your chance to talk about the things that interest you, and to do so your way.

[For those who have at least two years’ experience in the wine industry, we also encourage you to apply for the excellent Wine Industry Mentor Program run by Wine Communicators of Australia.]

New Voices, We Want You – Apply Now!

Round one of applications for New Voices in Wine is now open, until March 26.

Read the full criteria and submit an application via this page.