Eat & Drink

Australia’s 50 Best Young Winemakers Have Been Revealed, So Get Ordering Now

As a conscientious citizen who has decided to self-isolate, you’re owed some wine. If you can’t hit the pub or local cocktail bar for the foreseeable future, you may as improve your at-home imbibing.

Enter this just-announced list of Australia’s best and brightest winemakers for 2020. Decided by an expert panel of judges, the annual Young Gun Of Wine awards honour up-and-coming labels from across the country.

The Top 50 covers producers doing innovative and supremely quaffable things with grapes.

In 2020, these include a hop-infused Moscato, a barrel-fermented rosé, a hand-crushed ‘field blend’ and an experimental drop from Queensland’s Granite Belt. If you like reds, whites and oranges with a bit of funk, you’ll find a lot to love on this list – alongside plenty of more traditional styles. (For beginners, your education starts here.)

 

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Let’s start getting to know the Top 50 winemakers in the 2020 #YGOW Awards. Here’s a quick chat with Hadyn Black of @blackandgingerwine. (For more about Hadyn and the Black & Ginger wines, follow the 👉 link in our bio.) Q. Did you choose the region you’re working in, or did it choose you? A. I’m in Great Western, a sub region of the Grampians. I was offered a vintage position with Best’s in 2013 and after vintage I was asked to stay on a bit longer, and a bit longer, and a bit longer turned into a full time gig. I love it out here. The wine history, the mountains and a great community, I couldn’t leave. Q. What’s next? A. My fiancé Lucy and I also own a small vineyard, Hounds Run, in Great Western where we’ve been improving the fruit quality each year since settling in 2016. We’re looking at planting some more interesting varieties. Q. Who in the world of wine do you most admire, and why? A. Viv Thomson @bestswines, he’s worked his bum off in the cellar for over 50 years, and at 80 years old would still run rings around most cellar hands. All while being one of the friendliest and down to earth blokes you’ll ever meet. Q. No expense spared. One wine. What, where and how? A. Nebbiolo, in Barolo, nothing else comes close. I’d better start learning Italian. #YGOWtop50 #YGOW2020 #YGOWawards

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Instead of announcing 12 ultimate winners like in years past, the 50 victorious young guns are divided by state. Got a lot of time to sample wine? You can vote on your favourite in the People’s Choice award. Voting closes Monday June 1.

Also on June 1, the judges will announces the trophy winners for Young Gun of Wine, Best New Act, People’s Choice, Winemaker’s Choice and the Danger Zone award.

Because of the strange times we live in, Young Gun Wine will stage a series of virtual showcase events throughout May. These will allow you, budding sommelier, to connect with the winemakers and ask questions. Participation is free, but you do need to book.

Read on for the 2020 winners, divided by state. You can also dive deep on each producer at the official awards website. Stay home, place an online order and wine well.

NSW/ACT

Daniel Payne from Dirt Candy Wine, Hunter Valley
Angus Vinden from The Vinden Headcase, Hunter Valley
Steve Mobbs from Dreaded Friend / Wallington Wines, Central Ranges
Will Gilbert from Gilbert, Orange/Mudgee
Tom Ward from Swinging Bridge, Orange
Samuel Leyshon from Mallaluka, Canberra District

QUEENSLAND

Andrew Scott from Le Petite Mort, Granite Belt

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Sholto Broderick & Louis Broderick from Basket Range Wine, Adelaide Hills
Dylan Lee from Bird in Hand, Adelaide Hills
James Hamilton from Golden Child, Adelaide Hills
Michael Sexton from Main & Cherry, Adelaide Hills
Sarah Adamson from Scout Wines, Adelaide Hills/New Zealand
Tarrant Hansen from Spider Bill Wines, Adelaide Hills
Alyson Tannenbaum from Vinteloper, Adelaide Hills
Andre Bondar from Bondar Wines, McLaren Vale/Adelaide Hills
Charles Seppelt & Skye Salter from Paralian Wines, McLaren Vale
Mauricio Ruiz Cantu & Benjamin Caldwell from Somos, McLaren Vale
Con-Greg Grigoriou from Delinquente Wine Co, Riverland
Ansel Ashby from Gatch Wine, Riverland/Adelaide Hills/Clare Valley
Steve Crawford from Frederick Stevenson, Barossa Valley Eden Valley/ Adelaide Hills
Nick Dugmore from The Stoke Wines, Kangaroo Island

TASMANIA

Jonathan Hughes from Mewstone Wines, Tasmania
Greer Carland from Quiet Mutiny, Tasmania
Gilli & Paul Lipscombe from Sailor Seeks Horse, Tasmania
James Broinowski from Small Island Wines, Tasmania
Ricky Evans from Two Tonne Tasmania
Hugh McCullough from Wellington & Wolfe, Tasmania

VICTORIA

Chris Catlow from Sentio, Beechworth
Raquel Jones from Weathercraft, Beechworth
Natasha Webster from Empire of Dirt Wines, Geelong
Ben Mullen from Mulline, Geelong
Justin Purser from Dhiaga, Mornington Peninsula
Glen Hayley from Kooyong/Port Phillip Estate, Mornington Peninsula
Tara & Matthew Campbell from Mattara Wines, Mornington Peninsula/ Grampians
Alexander Byrne from Noisy Ritual, Melbourne Geelong/Sunbury/King Valley/Heathcote/Mornington/Gippsland/Grampians/Pyrenees
Chris Bendle from DCB Wine, Yarra Valley
Tim Perrin from from Oakridge Wines, Yarra Valley
Hadyn Black from Black & Ginger, Great Western/Grampians/Henty/Pyrenees
Leighton Joy from Pyren Vineyard, Pyrenees
Chris Dilworth & Loique Allain from Dilworth & Allain, Macedon Ranges
Renata Morello from Lyons Will Estate, Macedon Ranges
Ben Ranken from Wilimee, Macedon Ranges
Bart Van Olphen from Chalmers, Heathcote/Mildura
Jonathan Ross from Micro Wines, Geelong/Barossa Valley\

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Alexi Christidis from Chalari Wines, Perth Hills, Swan Valley
Garth Cliff from Vino Volta, Swan Valley/Swan District/Geographe/Perth Hills
Natasha Arthur from Arthur Wines, Margaret River
Dylan Arvidson from LS Merchants, Margaret River/Frankland River
Remi Guise from tripe.Iscariot, Margaret River
Kim Tyrer from Galafrey Wines, Mount Barker

(Lead Image: The Vinden Headcase, Hunter Valley / Supplied)