Author: Jessica Bassano
South Australian winemakers Damon and Jono Koerner from Koerner Wine in the Clare Valley have taken out the 2019 Riedel Young Gun of Wine award.
In its 13th year, the Young Gun of Wine awards aim to celebrate emerging wine producers. This year was the first time the ceremony was held in South Australia.
Koerner were awarded for their 2018 ‘Grace’ Riesling and 2018 ‘La Corse’ red wine.
Damon said the pair was thrilled with their win.
“It’s made even better by the fact that we’re doing it as brothers, we’re doing what we love and we have a great time doing it,” he said.
“And it’s nice to be recognised on a national level for something we’ve put a fair bit of time and effort into.
“We’re lucky that we grew up on a family vineyard that produces amazingly high quality fruit and we’ve just put a lot of effort into making very pure, fresh, pristine wines.”
Koerner was one of three South Australian finalists in the annual competition with winemakers also coming from Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia.
It was the third year the brothers Koerner were finalists.
“The wines we entered from 2018 were by far the best we’ve ever made, and I think that’s probably why they stood out,” Damon said.
“Because it’s been the effort of mum and dad’s work before us in creating the vineyard and our work in making the wines.”
Damon said they aimed to produce wines that were true to the vineyard and varietals, with textures that didn’t mask other components of the wine.
The competition featured a diverse range of Australian wines including two vermouths by Sacha La Forgia at Adelaide Hills Distillery and a pinot noir by Switch Organic Wine.
Wines were selected by a panel of more than 100 sommeliers, winemakers and trade leaders, and judged by industry professionals.