William Rickard-Bell has once again been named in the Young Gun of Wine's Top 50 winemakers in Australia for 2019.
The owner of Rikard Wines was chosen alongside seven winemakers under 45 years of age from NSW and the ACT in the annual awards, for the second time.
The other winners from the state included two from the Canberra District, three from the Hunter Valley and one from the Riverina.
The awards listed South Australia as the state with the most young guns, it had 19 winemakers in the top 50, Victoria was next with 13, Western Australia had 8 and Queensland had one.
The founder of the awards Rory Kent said the panel decides the winner based upon the quality of the wine they make, as well as what their brand represents.
"Will’s making cracking wines - you can see the quality of his craft in the glass," he said. "But further to that, he’s bringing some creative leadership to the region of Orange."
Mr Kent said he'd visited the old apple packing shed Mr Rickard-Bell had converted to make wine for his own label and wine for others.
"He adopts small scale techniques: from fruit selection at picking, to sorting, to multiple ferments in the winery - which provide added complexity to the the finished product when blended back together - it’s visceral winemaking at every step," he said.
"He’s got a long-term vision and he’s committed to it. He’s bought a block of land halfway up Mount Canobolas and he’s planting vines. You have to admire the path he’s treading."
The panel, which included Gourmet Traveller WINE's Nick Stock as chief judge, tasted 250 wines to determine the top 50. The final 12 will be announced in April, with the public then able to decide the People's Choice via tasting event in Sydney and Melbourne.
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