Anna Hooper makes top 50

Cape Jaffa winemaker Anna Hooper has been announced among the The Young Gun of Wine Top 50 winemakers. 

The announcement was made last week in Melbourne at a presentation hosted by a series of renowned Australian wine judges including Nick Stock and Mike Bennie.

The young Gun of wine awards (now in its 11th year) is Australia’s premier wine event to showcase the best up and coming winemakers in Australia and is recognised as the place to spot new talent and trends. 

Unlike a traditional wine show based on blind tastings of wines classed by variety and vintage, this is about winemakers who are ‘instigating trends’, and in doing so contributing to the diversity of wine in Australia.

“I like the concept in that it creates quite a contrast to a traditional wine judging where wines that are unique, don’t easily fit any particular class and as a result fail to prove their worth,” said Anna.

Anna selected two wines to submit for judging, the Field Blend a white blend which is literally picked and blended in the vineyard rather than the winery and the Riptide red blend, a special blend based on the white viognier juice fermented on Shiraz skins to create an aromatic medium bodied wine that looks red but is predominately from a white variety.

“It’s a wine we have a lot of fun with as its taken a number of wine connoisseurs off their pedestal when they’ve tried to guess the variety. The ideas for both these wines were inspired from time spent overseas,” she said.

“The award takes one step further than simply recognising the wines, wine writer Mike Bennie says its ‘an affirmation that wine, of all types and styles, and the winemakers who produce it, are to be celebrated, and that the axis point for Australian wine culture’s near future, comes from youthful intent’.

“When I was nominated by our label supplier Stu Purdie at Multicolour labels, I nearly declined as I wasn’t sure I fit that part of the criteria.

“I turned 40 last year which I think is a bit of a pivotal career point from being seen as aspiring to esteemed, however this award makes it clear that the odd grey hair is fine as long as you’re young at heart.

“In getting this far would like to acknowledge my workmates, and particularly our other winemaker Pip Battley who has had a great influence over our wines and of course my husband Des who not only founded the business but really pushes me to think outside the square.”