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The Young Gun of Wine

2017 Winner

The winners of the 2017 Young Gun of Wine awards were announced last night at the Prince of Wales Hotel in St Kilda, Melbourne. Since 2007, The Young Gun of Wine show has been identifying outstanding new Australian winemakers.

This year’s winner of the coveted, Young Gun of Wine was Michael Downer of Murdoch Hill. Michael was presented by last year’s winner, Josephine Perry from Dormilona.

The humble winner admitted to not being prepared with a speech. However, he thanked the crowd and judges saying, “The 2017 Top 50 is an awesome list of winemakers, and then I felt making the Final 12 was such an achievement. To now be titled Young Gun of Wine, and join a list of winemakers that I consider to be some of the most admired winemakers in Australia, is an unbelievable honour.”

The night was also the final round for the People’s Choice award. The winner was determined by a public vote and awarded to Peter Dredge of Meadowbank Wines.

Best New Act went to Rob Mack of Aphelion Wine Co and the Winemakers Choice was awarded to John Hughes from Rielsingfreak.

The winner of the First Drop Danger Zone award went to Brave New Wines’ 2016 “Wonderland” Botanical Riesling - a Riesling infused with native botanicals - from the Great Southern region.

The finalists were selected from an initial 200 applicants and represent the most notable of the Australian wine industries’ young, innovative, winemakers. The 2017 judges included Rory Kent (Young Guns of Wine founder), Mike Bennie (Wine critic The Wine Front), Nick Stock (Freelance writer Gourmet Traveller Wine), Philip Rich (Wine BDM The Lucas Group), Emma Farrelly (Beverage Manager at State Buildings), Josh Elias (Editor in Chief, Alquimie), Pip Anderson (Sommelier MONA) and Jospehine Perry (Winemaker and 2016 Young Gun of Wine winner, Dormilona).

The four categories, awarded to winemakers, were BEST NEW ACT, PEOPLES CHOICE, Ocean Eight WINEMAKERS CHOICE and the Riedel YOUNG GUN OF WINE with a fifth category awarded for the “most adventurous wine” presented to a single product.

Award Categories

Riedel Young Gun of Wine – Michael Downer, Murdoch Hill, Adelaide Hills

Best New Act – Rob Mack, Aphelion Wine Co, McLaren Vale

People’s Choice – Peter Dredge, Meadowbank Wines, Tasmania

Ocean Eight Winemakers Choice – John Hughes, Rieslingfreak, Clare Valley

First Drop Danger Zone – Brave New Wines 2016 “Wonderland” Botanical Riesling, Brave New Wines, Great Southern