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Saturday 19 May 2018

Young Guns: sausage fest to serious test of winemaking talent

I used to have very little time for the Young Gun of Wine Awards, which somehow gave the impression of a lot of guy judges voting for a lot of other guys who were their mates. A real sausage fest. Or that's how it looked. 

Time has passed, however, and today the Young Gun events offer a very real look at some of the fastest-rising wine talent in Australia. 

The top 50 was whittled down to 12 at Prahran Market recently and this year one-third of the finalists are female (way up on the national average) while Tasmania, which produces just 1% of all Australian wine, has three of the 12 finalists. 

Those finalists are Johnno Hughes from Mewstone Wines/Hughes & Hughes (above), Gilli & Paul Lipscombe from Sailor Seeks Horse and Ricky Evans from Two Tonne, Tasmania. It is Hughes' first time as a finalist. 

The 12th Young Gun of Wine (YGOW) will be be revealed at MONA, outside Hobart, on June 18. 

The 2018 judges included Nick Stock, Mike Bennie, Caitlyn Rees, Emma Farrelly, Michael Downer, Lisa Cardelli, Pip Anderson and founder Rory Kent. 

This line-up of finalists is year, the three from Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia, two hailing from Victoria and one from the ACT. 

There are two husband and wife duos: Yoko and Andries Mostert from Brave New Wine (Denmark, WA) and Gilli and Paul Lipscombe of Sailor Seeks Horse (Huon Valley, Tasmania). There are another two female winemakers in the group – Melanie Chester of Sutton Grange and Kate Morgan of Ipso Facto. 

The final 12 winemaker are as follows:

- Hamish Young from Mada Wines, Canberra District (Shiraz, Sauv Blanc)

- Sean Crinion from Dappled Wines, Yarra Valley (Chardonnay, Pinot noir)
- Melanie Chester from Sutton Grange Winery, Bendigo (Fiano/ Viognier, Syrah)

- Jonno Hughes from Mewstone, D'Entrecasteaux Channel (Riesling, Syrah)
- Ricky Evans from Two Tonne Tasmania, Tamar Valley (2 x Pinot Noir)
- Gilli and Paul Lipscombe from Sailor Seeks Horse, Huon Valley (Chardonnay, Pinot

- Damon Koerner from Koerner Wine, Clare Valley (Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon/
- David Geyer from David Geyer, Barossa Valley/ Eden Valley/ McLaren Vale
(Semillon, Cabernet Franc)
- Rob Mack from Aphelion, McLaren Vale (Grenache, Grenache Mataro Shiraz)

- Kate Morgan from Ipso Facto Wines, Margaret River (Chenin, Cabernet Sauvignon)
- Yoko & Andries Mostert from Brave New Wine, Great Southern (Riesling/ Native
Botanicals, Shiraz)
- Nicolas Peterkin from L.A.S Vino, Margaret River (Chenin Blanc, Touriga nacional,
Tinta Cao, Sousao)

The overall winners of the various trophies will be announced at The Young Gun of Wine
Awards ceremony held on June 18. It will be an invitation only event at MONA, outside Hobart.

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