Five young winemakers to watch interviews
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Seppelt Great Western vineyards are famous for their high quality wines

Seppelt Great Western vineyards are famous for their high quality wines

The Wine Society has announced the top 10 finalists for Young Winemaker of the Year 2009. The Wine Society awards, which began in 2001, recognise excellence in young winemakers and profile the best young wine making talents Australia and New Zealand have to offer.

The winner of The Wine Society Young Winemaker of the Year will be announced on November 20, at a gala black tie dinner to be held in Sydney.

Here are five of the finalists:

Joanna Marsh

Seppelt Winemaker Jo Marsh is one of those people who strives for perfection and the environment at Seppelt gives her the tools to achieve it. After such a wide and diverse training program, Jo was eager to work for Seppelt, starting there in 2004. “I have always loved cool climate wines,” Jo says, “and at Great Western we have access to some of the best cool climate fruit in Australia.”

Jo says she loves the interest and challenge of her job, using a wide range of vineyards from different areas to create Seppelt’s graceful and regionally expressive red, white and sparkling wines.

Peter Kelly
South Australia
Thorn-Clarke Wines

Peter’s involvement with wine began when he moved to South Australia from Queensland to complete the Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Oenology) at the University of Adelaide. Since then he has worked in wineries in McLaren Vale and the Barossa Valley in South Australia with brands such as Haselgrove and d’Arenberg.

After graduating Peter has worked as a Winemaker in the Barossa with Rolf Binder Wines, and, his current role, as Assistant Winemaker at Thorn-Clarke. Working with Thorn-Clarke has allowed Peter to work with diverse vineyard sites in the Barossa Valley, Eden Valley and the broader Barossa Zone and to utilise different varieties to craft wine that is distinct and exceptional.

Ryan Aggiss
Western Australia
Flying Fish Cove

Born in the South West of Western Australia, be it surfing, fishing or diving, Ryan knew from a young age he could never spend too much time away from the beach. 

He spent his first vintage at Ferngrove, where he began to appreciate the wonder of grapes and the thrill of wine being created. Three more vintages followed, each time a passion for being part of this process was growing. 

Ryan then underwent a seven year stint with the Hardy wine company, working in Margaret River, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale. Learning from greats like Simon Osica and Mick Ruebenhold, he progressed through the ranks to become an Assistant in the Clare Valley.

After an internship in California with Constellation, Ryan decided the call of home was great and accepted a position within Flying Fish Cove. Starting out in the Assistant position, he quickly grasped the vineyard and winery operation, progressing to Winemaker and the rest as they say, is history. 

The opportunity to work with some of the region's best fruit from the Wildberry vineyard and surf everyday has Ryan thanking his lucky stars that he has a job he loves, in a region he loves and produces product he loves.

Stephen Oliver
Harrington Glen Estate

Stephen Oliver is Queensland born and bred. He trained under Jim Barnes whilst working at the Harrington Glen Estate vineyard.

In 2006 after being one of the first intake to finish his Certificate 3 at the College of Wine in Stanthorpe, Stephen worked solely for Harrington Glen and made his first wine, a 2006 Shiraz. This wine has had 4 1/2 stars from Winestate's Worlds Greatest Shiraz Challenge 2008, a gold and trophy from the Toowoomba Show, a silver at the Small Winemakers Show, 4 1/2 cups from James Halliday 2010 and 4 bronze medals. His 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon won a trophy for the Best Queensland Red and a gold medal at the Small Winemaker's Show 2008, 93 from James Halliday 2010 and a gold from the Queensland Wine awards 2008. His 2007 Merlot won a silver and top of class at the 2008 Small Winemakers Show, 4 1/2 cups from James Halliday 2010 and 4 stars from Winestate.

To be chosen as one of the 10 finalists in the Young Winemaker of the Year is acknowledgement of his capabilities and he is the only Queenslander to have been chosen in the nine years this competition has been running.

Nick Glaetzer
Glaetzer Dixon Winemakers

Nick Glaetzer began his winemaking journey in the Barossa Valley, following with vintages in the Languedoc, the Pfalz, Margaret River, the Riverland, Sunraysia, the Hunter Valley and Burgundy.

In 2005 Nick landed in Tasmania, searching for cool-climate, super-premium vineyards, fit for crafting fresh and inspired wines for people who enjoy drinking wine.

Winemaking with local industry veterans at Frogmore Creek has given Nick access to a select group of high quality Tasmanian vineyards, ensuring each GDF wine has a layered depth of flavour and structure over the vintages.

Congratulations and good luck to all finalists!

Who is Australia's young winemaker of 2009? Book your tickets now for November 20 at the annual black-tie Awards party where 10 talented young winemakers will compete for 3 prestigious industry accolades.

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October 16th, 2009
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