Organisers of the Young Guns of Wine Festival have adopted a very casual approach to an event celebrating the tradition of producing wine. The fact that a group of panellists choose an official ‘Young Gun’ of wine seems evidence alone. This festival is all about displacing the hoity-toity and raised noses of the wine world and ushering in a new, decidedly relaxed, generation of fermented grape aficionados. Now in its fifth year, their approach is clearly a winning one.??

The week-long festival offers dinners and tastings with the aim of best showcasing a year of hard work for the 20 shortlisted finalists. While only 11 winemakers make the cut, two wines from each of the shortlisted 20 are assessed by the judging panel and then incorporated into an event where they can be enjoyed by the rest of us.

The festival, headed up by Rory Kent, is the brainchild of V-Know, an organisation that aims to inject some fun back into the understanding of wine. In partnership with some of Melbourne’s top chefs and restaurants – including Coda, Izakaya Den and Cumulus – they have created an exciting program of wining and dining sessions.

From a roving event with Raph Rashid’s Taco Truck, to a long table dinner with open bottles from six Young Gun Winemakers at Bar Lourihna, casual sharing of food, drink, opinions and discussions is at the heart of Young Guns. Events such as Young Guns with Swine at The Botanical – which invites guests to enjoy “a drop and an afternoon of well-hung meat” – herald a new prerequisite in wine making: which winemaker has the best-tasting smallgoods? And to top it off, the wine and pork come free. Just make sure you RSVP via email at or phone (03) 9820 7888.

The Young Guns of Wine Festival runs from August 15–22.