Young Gun of Wine Uncut in Adelaide
On Saturday I went to the Young Gun of Wine Uncut in Adelaide. It was held at Mothervine and East End Cellars from 12-3pm. 30 winemakers displaying 60 wines were there to talk, describe and explain about their styles, their businesses and their future aspirations. I really appreciated the opportunity to meet them all and in one central location and within 3 hours. The people I met are entrepreneurs, going out on their own in what many may see as an already saturated wine market but these ‘Young Guns of Wine’ are creating a product they believe in and are talented to make. These are small batch, hand crafted and really diverse wines. As described on the Wine Australia website; “The nominees for the Young Gun of Wine Award are the next generation furthering the legacy left by these legends of Australian wine. From boundary-pushing blends to innovative packaging and wine styles from classic Australian regions, these winemakers are defining the new Australian wine paradigm.”
Everyone has their own taste and some prefer natural wines, wines that undergo malolactic fermentation, those that see bottle age, those that only see stainless steel. Whatever style you prefer, I imagine most people will appreciate the style that the winemaker is trying to achieve and express. I am beginning to see winemakers more as artists, especially after the Young Gun of Wine Uncut event in Adelaide. Despite many being so new to the market, they have been inundated with awards and positive reviews from the likes of James Halliday, Mike Bennie, Campbell Mattinson, Gary Walsh and shows such as Small Winemakers Wine Show and the Barossa Wine Show.
Along the good vibes of both venues, there was live music and plenty of interested consumers and of course interesting winemakers; some who have won the Young Gun of Wine before. Rob Mack from Aphelion Wines won Best New Act 2017. John Hughes of Rieslingfreak won Winemaker’s Choice 2017.
The producers, the winemakers and region were promoted before the event. This meant I could spend time researching their wines, their sites and their stories before the big day, online. It’s always so hard to speak to everyone at an event as busy as it was. As the day went on, it became increasingly crowded so I couldn’t ask as many questions to the winemakers as I had envisaged. But that’s where a website and a follow up trip to the winery is important! Below is just a very brief summary of the wine producers on tasting.
Aphelion: McLaren Vale. Winemaker and founder Rob Mack was here to talk through the wines. I loved the creative labels.
Arno Wine Co: Barossa with winemaker Craig Viney. Lovely Mataro on tasting.
Bondar Wines: McLaren Vale. Andre Bondar told us that his rosé contains 99% Grenache and 1% Counoise (found in the Rhône Valley), so unique. I really enjoyed the interesting texture to the wine.
Brothers At War: Eden and Barossa Valley. Angus Wardlaw, the winemaker went into detail about the winemaking process; I love hearing what effort and skills goes into their wine.
Chain of Ponds: Adelaide Hills. Greg Clack was on hand to explain more about his Pinot Noir rosé. Quite unique.
Charlotte Dalton Wines: Adelaide Hills. Winemaker Charlotte explained her range to me a bit more after the tasting where she was pouring her wines at East End Cellars.
Cooke Brothers: Adelaide Hills. Ben Cooke. Really cool label…so simple yet striking with white writing on a bottle and I believe just a total of 2000 litres made. I hear they are working on a website.
Cragg Cru: Langhorne Creek. Robert Cragg and Jessica Ward make up the team here; very new label, really friendly and really positive reviews of their wines already.
Defender of the Faith: Nathan Roche, the winemaker took me through his Riesling and explaining the name and why his Rieslings are dry grown.
David Geyer Wines: Barossa. Wines presented by David Geyer. Really cool guy, interesting wines – hand crafted with minimal intervention. Very creative labels.
Hugh Guthrie: Adelaide Hills. Really loved the Grüner Veltliner; so textured and fresh.
Lady & The Hawk: Central Victoria. Brendan Hawker is the winemaker who poured us his rosé, sourced from Central Victoria. Very new to the market, their website will be up soon!
Main & Cherry: Adelaide Hills. I tasted their Fiano but as it soon became crowded unfortunately I didn’t end up speaking to the winemaker Michael Sexton.
Matriarch and Rogue: Clare Valley. Winemaker Marnie Roberts was really approachable and funny. She explained her wines and the story of her brand to us.
Pertaringa / Hand Crafted: Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale. Shane Harris has been the winemaker since 2006 and had a lovely Fiano on tasting.
Rieslingfreak: Eden Valley: John Hughes; winemaker took us through his wines; I loved Rieslingfreak No 4 which I have always enjoyed trying when I was on the Liquor Barons Swanbourne Cellars Panel.
Rock of Wisdom: Barossa Valley. Presented by Peter Hiscock and Sofi. Really friendly couple, really enjoyed their wine and love the cool photos on their site including a photo of them covered in grape juice and skins.
Sherrah Wines: McLaren Vale: Alex Sherrah is the winemaker and I loved the labels. There were unique blends on tasting; a Fiano/Chenin Blanc and a GSN (Grenache, Shiraz, Nero d’Avola); very innovative.
Taylors Wines: Clare Valley. Thomas Darmody talked us through his wines; love their Rieslingsfrom since I first tried it when I worked at Majestic in the UK and then promoting the launch of Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW) a few years later!
Tenafeate Creek Wines: Adelaide. I didn’t meet or taste wines presented by Michael Costa but will need to try their wines another time.
Two Tonne Tasmania: Tasmania presented by Ricky Evans. I didn’t try the wines, I will have to visit one day!
Three Dark Horses: McLaren Vale. Matt Broomhead had an interesting textured white on tasting. I love their reds!
Turon Wines: Adelaide Hills. Turon White, winemaker described his journey to owning his own label. I liked their blog last November; “A view from a winemaker’s girlfriend “very funny!
XO Wine Co: Adelaide Hills and McLaren. Winemaker Kate Horstmann was at the stand pouring. I really enjoyed her rosé and would have liked to ask more questions but it was getting crowded and I hadn’t even tasted through half the producers yet…it was a race against the clock.
Yelland & Papps: Barossa Valley. Michael Papps, winemaker was here to talk through his wines and their offerings at the cellar door. It sounds like a great place to visit; chilled with good wine.
Z Wine: Barossa. Janelle Zerk, the winemaker was very engaging explaining about her styles and the history of her label. It’s very much family owned with Janelle and sister Kristen in charge.
The wine partner for the event was Vasse Felix who had two wines on tasting.
Such a wonderful tasting, thanks to Rory from Young Gun of Wine and East End Cellars and Mothervine for their involvement, I only wish I lived closer as I’m loving the events on Vardon Avenue.