Home Australia Top 50 Finalists and New Best Wine Venue Award for YGOW Announced!

Top 50 Finalists and New Best Wine Venue Award for YGOW Announced!

The Top 50 finalists for Australia’s prestigious Young Gun of Wine (YGOW) have been announced!

Now in its 12th year, the competition has honoured 19 winemakers from South Australia, 12 from Victoria, 10 from Western Australia, four from Tasmania, four from New South Wales/ACT and, for the first year ever, one from Queensland.

This Top 50 was selected from 150 of the best young winemakers in Australia by a panel of expert judges. The respected panel consisted of Gourmet Traveller Sommelier of the Year, Caitlyn Rees; Good Food Guide WA Sommelier of the Year, Emma Farrelly; 2017 Young Gun of Wine winner, Michael Downer of Murdoch Hill’ Lisa Cardelli from Rosetta; MONA’s Pip Anderson and veteran YGOW judges Mike Bennie, Nick Stock and Rory Kent.

Congratulations to the following Top 50 Young Gun of Wine finalists:


  • Jo Marsh from Billy Button, Alpine Valleys
  • Melanie Chester from Sutton Grange Winery, Bendigo
  • Justin Purser from Best’s Great Western, Great Western
  • Ben Ranken from Wilimee & Galli Estate, Heathcote
  • Katherine Brown from Brown Brothers, King Valley / Heathcote / Yarra Valley
  • Rebecca & Adrian Santolin from Santolin Wines, Yarra Valley / Heathcote
  • Liam O’Brien & Matthew Brooke from Athletes of Wine, Macedon Ranges / King Valley
  • Shaun Crinion from Dappled Wines, Yarra Valley
  • Glen Hayley from Kooyong Wines, Mornington Peninsula
  • Marcus Satchell from Dirty Three Wines, Gippsland
  • Ben Mullen from Clyde Park Vineyard, Geelong
  • Jackson Brooke from Jackson Brooke Wine, Henty •


  • Ben Cooke from Cooke Brothers Wines, Adelaide Hills
  • Jono Hersey from Hersey Vineyards, Adelaide Hills
  • Matt Broomhead from Three Dark Horses, Adelaide Hills
  • Phillip LeMessurier from Corduroy Wines, Adelaide Hills
  • Greg Clack from Chain of Ponds, Adelaide Hills
  • Alex Head from Head Wines, Adelaide Hills
  • Damon Koerner from Koerner Wine, Clare Valley
  • Steven Baraglia from Naked Run Wines & Pike Wines, Clare Valley
  • Vanessa Altmann from Switch Organic Wine, Eden Valley
  • John Hughes from Rieslingfreak, Eden Valley
  • David Geyer from Geyer Wine Co., Barossa Valley / Eden Valley
  • Steve Crawford from Frederick Stevenson & Giovanni Armani Giorgio, Barossa Valley
  • Josh Pfeiffer from Whistler, Barossa Valley
  • Michael Papps from Yelland & Papps, Barossa Valley
  • Alex Sherrah from Sherrah Wines, McLaren Vale
  • Andre Bondar from Bondar Wines, McLaren Vale
  • Rob Mack from Aphelion Wine Co., McLaren Vale
  • Matt East from Rouleur, McLaren Vale
  • Con-Greg Grigoriou from Delinquente Wine Co, Riverland


  • Daniel Stocker from Heretic Wines, Margaret River
  • Julian Grounds from McHenry Hohnen, Margaret River
  • Kate Morgan from Ipso Facto Wines, Margaret River
  • Dylan Arvidson from LS Merchants, Margaret River
  • Nicolas Peterkin from L.A.S Vino, Margaret River
  • Remi Guise from tripe.Iscariot, Margaret River
  • Julian Langworthy & John Fogarty from Goon Tycoons, Frankland River / Margaret River
  • Brian Kent from Frankland Estate, Frankland River
  • Kim Tyrer from Galafrey Wines, Mt Barker
  • Yoko Luscher-Mostert & Andries Mostert from Brave New Wine, Great Southern


  • William Rikard-Bell from Rikard Wines, Orange
  • Kate Sturgess from Brokenwood Wines, Hunter Valley
  • Chris Carpenter from Lark Hill Winery, Canberra District
  • Hamish Young from Mada Wines, Canberra District


  • Ricky Evans from Two Tonne, Tamar Valley
  • Peter Dredge from Meadowbank, Derwent Valley
  • Jonathan Hughes from Mewstone, D’Entrecasteaux Channel (Flowerpot)
  • Gilli & Paul Lipscombe from Sailor Seeks Horse, Huon Valley


  • Ray Costanzo from Golden Grove Estate, Granite Belt

For those looking to try the finalists’ wines, the 2018 showcase will be held at the Prahran Market, Victoria on Saturday 12th May. Guests will taste two of each of the winemakers’ wines and be encouraged to ask the Top 50 about their methods and winemaking practices.

Of note to our bartending community in particular is this year’s new award. As part of the Young Gun of Wine program, this year will see the a panel of 100 of the country’s leading sommeliers and winemakers vote for the bars and restaurants with the best wine menus.

Stay tuned to find out the nominees for this new award as well as the overall best wine venue and 2018 Young Gun of Wine winner over the coming weeks!