The Top 50 Young Guns of Wine have been announced

Polish and conviction across the entries bodes well

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Young Guns of Wine judging session 2019

Young Guns of Wine judging session 2019 [©Young Guns of Wine]

Young Guns of Wine judging session 2019
Young Guns of Wine judging session 2019
Young Guns of Wine judging session 2019


Young Gun of Wine (YGOW), the industry’s authority on the best young wine labels and winemakers on the rise, has announced the Top 50 winemakers in Australia for 2019.

The 2019 Top 50 includes 19 winemakers from South Australia, 13 from Victoria, 8 from Western Australia, 7 from New South Wales/ACT, 2 from Tasmania and 1 from Queensland.

The Top 50 is a melting pot of entrants, including two female power duos, Liv Maiorana and Mijan Patterson from South by South West, and Callie Jemmeson and Nina Stocker from Pacha Mama; for the second time, the Granite Belt region of Queensland has given the sunshine state a guernsey – this time through former sommelier, Andrew Scott of La Petite Mort; and in other surprises, Charles Sturt University has made the list too: their viticulture and wine science department has recently launched a label out of the university winery, called “Boutique Wines by CSU”.

60% of this year’s nominations are new to the annual list, highlighting the depth of emerging wines across the country. Rory Kent, founder of YGOW offered, “Each year, the Top 50 list gets harder and harder to decide, which demonstrates the increasing quality and calibre of new wine labels in Australia. Added to that, there’s a diversity of people, places and paths to wine, which makes the list so compelling and creatively igniting for the direction of Aussie wine.”

This year’s judging panel tasted around 250 wines over two days at King & Godfree, to determine the Top 50 list. The panel included Rory Kent (Founder of YGOW), Nick Stock (Chief Judge, 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.

“What I found most interesting with the wines for YGOW 2019, was the way in which classic varieties, traditionally grown to that geographical indication, were reinterpreted with unique fun-loving winemaking, yet in a very classy way, with purity and depth,” said Josephine Perry.

Nick Stock, who has led the panel since its inception in 2007, summed up: "I can say hand on heart that these awards have built an incredible network of support and leadership around the new and emerging winemaking scene in Australia. Whether directly or through simple observation, the  winemakers that have been recognised in recent years mentor and inspire a talented pool of others in the space.

“The polish and conviction seen across the entries this year bode well for the future of Australian winemaking,” Stock added.

The public can also get a taste of the exciting mix of wines in the Top 50 with a special showcase event at Prahran Market on Saturday 13th April. Following last year’s sell-out event, Prahran Market will swing open its doors at night again with the public able to sample 100 wines from the Top 50 winemakers.

Early bird tickets are $55 and available to purchase via:

The Final 12 will be announced late April, with the public then being able to decide the “People’s Choice” via tasting events in Sydney and Melbourne.

The winners will be announced at an invitation-only trophy presentation in Adelaide in June.

The Top 50 list via State is as follows:


  • Campbell Meeks from Boutique Wines by CSU, Canberra District
  • Chris Carpenter from Lark Hill Winery, Canberra District
  • Angus Vinden from Vinden Estate & The Vinden Headcase, Hunter Valley
  • Daniel Payne from Dirt Candy Wine, Hunter Valley
  • Shannon Burgess-Moore from Grandis & De Iuliis Wines, Hunter Valley
  • Will Rikard-Bell from Rikard Wines, Orange
  • Rob Paulazzo from R.Paulazzo, Riverina


  • Andrew Scott from La Petite Mort, Granite Belt


  • Adam Lampit from Lambrook Wines, Adelaide Hills
  • James Hamilton from Golden Child Wines, Adelaide Hills
  • Jono Hersey from Hersey Vineyard, Adelaide Hills
  • Sacha La Forgia from Adelaide Hills Distillery, Adelaide Hills
  • Tom Northcott from Howard Vineyard, Adelaide Hills
  • Turon White from Turon Wines, Adelaide Hills
  • Michael John Corbett from Sanglier Wines, Clare Valley
  • Tarrant Hansen from Spider Bill Wines, Adelaide Hills
  • Ben Cook from Cooke Brothers Wines, Adelaide Hills
  • Josh Pfeiffer from Whistler, Barossa Valley
  • Steven Baraglia from Naked Run Wines & Place in Time, Barossa Valley / Clare Valley
  • Damon Koerner from Koerner Wine, Clare Valley
  • Daniel Redman from Redman Wines, Coonawarra
  • Vanessa Altmann from Switch Organic Wine, Eden Valley / McLaren Vale
  • Peta Baverstock from Cuvée Co. Wines, Limestone Coast
  • Luke Growden from Year Wines, McLaren Vale
  • Sam Dunley from Bergherring Wines, McLaren Vale
  • Alice Davidson from Norfolk Rise / Aunt Alice, Robe / Mount Benson
  • Duncan Lloyd from Dune, McLaren Vale


  • Greer Carland from Quiet Mutiny, Tasmania
  • Jonathan Hughes from Mewstone Wines, Tasmania


  • Alister Timms from Shadowfax Winery, Macedon Ranges
  • Ben Ranken from Wilimee, Macedon Ranges
  • Liam O’Brien and Matt Brooke from Athletes of Wine, Macedon Ranges
  • James Sexton from Main Ridge Estate, Mornington Peninsula
  • Leighton Joy from Pyren Vineyard, Pyrenees
  • Simon Killeen from Simao & Co Wines, Rutherglen / North East Victoria
  • Alastair Reed and Sam Cook from Konpira Maru, South Burnett / King Valley
  • Matt Froude, Municipal & Wine by Sam, Strathbogie Ranges
  • Callie Jemmeson and Nina Stocker from Pacha Mama, Victoria
  • Dave Fletcher from Fletcher Wines, Victoria
  • Jayden Ong from Jayden Ong/One Block, Yarra Valley
  • Shaun Crinion from Dappled Wines, Yarra Valley


  • Alexi Christidis from Chalari Wines, Frankland River / Perth Hills
  • Matt Eastwell & Danni Paviour-Smith from Freehand, Great Southern
  • Remi Guise from tripe.Iscariot, Margaret River
  • Julian Langworthy and John Fogarty from Good Tycoons, Margaret River / Frankland River
  • Rhys Parker and Paul Hoffman from Vallée du Venom, Margaret River / Swan Valley
  • Liv Maiorana and Mijan Patterson from South by South West, Margaret River
  • Kim Tyrer from Galafrey Wines, Mount Barker
  • Genevieve Mann from Corymbia, Swan Valley

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February 21st, 2019
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