Young Gun of Wine winner announced

2 thoughts on “Young Gun of Wine winner announced”

  1. Huon Hooke
    Huon Hooke says:

    I’m curious as to how they did their survey. Peter Forrestal, who chairs Gourmet Traveller WINE’s Winemaker of the Year and Young Winemaker of the Year (I’m also a judge), believes that among winemakers under 35, women are much more strongly represented than in the total winemaker population. He points out that in our Young Winemaker of the Year Award, there are six women winners out of 15 from 2001 to 2015 (to wit – Celine Rousseau, Fran Austin, Helen McCarthy, Sarah Fagan, Gwyn Olsen, Melanie Chester).

  2. Rory Kent says:

    Hi Huon,

    It’s a very good question you raise: “Does this really reflect the current younger generation of winemakers?”

    It would certainly be good to have had more females represented in the top 12 this year, just as it would have been good to have other states beyond Vic and SA make the top 12. But, it’s just the way the cookie crumbled in 2015. People don’t win or lose their spot in the final 12 based upon gender, and nor should they. However, we are very active in pursuing females for the top 12 – a quarter of those invited this year were female.

    There is clearly a disproportionate amount of male winemakers in the industry, which is unfortunate – especially as some studies show that women make better wine!

    Samantha Connew brought to my attention a report by Jeremy Galbreath (Feb 2014) for the American Association of Wine Economists, titled “Women in top roles in the wine industry”.

    The study found 8.8% of winemakers in Australia are female: “in the prestigious winemaker role, only 8.8% are women across the reporting period. This is less than, although close to, the 9.8% of women winemakers in California (Gilbert, 2011). Lastly, overall, women in the winemaker role actually have declined since 2007 (-1.04% growth).”

    A new initiative, The Australian Women in Wine Awards ( is championing this important issue.

    I hope more females can join the industry as winemakers. Wine will be much better for it.

    For what it’s worth, the statistics show that females finalists in YGOW Awards actually index above the industry figures… not that gender comes into consideration of the judges.

    Rory Kent
    founder, Young Gun of Wine Awards

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