By Andy Young
The 2017 Young Gun of Wine winner was announced earlier this week at an awards ceremony that celebrates the top young Australian winemakers.
Five awards were presented on the night including Best New Act, Winemaker’s Choice, People’s Choice and the Young Gun of Wine Award. There was also a Danger Zone award, presented for a single product.
The Riedel Young Gun of Wine was awarded to Michael Downer from Murdoch Hill in Adelaide Hills.
On receiving his award, Downer said he was caught off guard and didn’t have a speech prepared. He went on to say: “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 People’s Choice went to Peter Dredge with his Meadowbank wines – a newly launched label from a well-established grape supplying vineyard in Tasmania.
The People’s Choice was decided at two public tasting events held in Sydney and Melbourne. On accepting his award Dredge said: “We couldn't be happier with the recognition from the people and consider this such an awesome start to Meadowbank's new journey.
“Thanks so much to the young guns’ judges, sponsors and those who attended the people's choice events in Sydney and Melbourne. We love you.”
Wine Australia sponsored the Best New Act award, which was won by Rob Mack from Aphelion in McLaren Vale. He said: “It was an amazing experience to be part of this competition and to have our little wine label recognised by the judges as the Best New Act is beyond my wildest dreams. This is phenomenal kick start for our label.”
The night’s other award winners included John Hughes of Rieslingfreak, who won the Ocean Eight Winemaker’s Choice, which was voted on by the 12 finalists. Also Brave New Wine’s 2016 “Wonderland” Botanical Riesling – a Riesling infused with native botanicals, made in the Great Southern region of Western Australia won the First Drop Danger Zone award.