Young Gun of Wine announces top 50 winemakers for 2019


YGOW 2019 judging.

Young Gun of Wine, the country’s largest competition celebrating young winemakers, has announced its top 50 finalists for 2019 from around the country.

The Top 50 includes 19 winemakers from South Australia, 13 from Victoria, eight from Western Australia, seven from New South Wales/ACT, two from Tasmania and one from Queensland.

It’s clear the industry is growing, with 60 per cent of this year’s nominees new to the list. The natural-wine boom is also only continuing, with many of the finalists practising low-intervention and biodynamic or organic winemaking methods.

This year’s judging panel tasted 250 wines over two days in Melbourne. The panel included Rory Kent (Founder of YGOW), Nick Stock (Chief Judge, Gourmet Traveller WINE), Mike Bennie (Delicious), 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), and international guest judge, Leah Rinadli from USA's leading distributor of natural wines, Jenny & Francois.

“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,” says Kent.

The top 12 will be announced in April, after which the “People’s Choice” winners will be decided at tasting events in Melbourne and Sydney.

The Young Gun of Wine 2019 winner will be announced 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 Dunlevy, Berg Herring 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

Pat Underwood from Little Reddie, Heathcote 


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