Rowly’s big wine award

Rowly Milhinch of Scion Wine has been named one of Australia’s top winemakers for 2022.

One of Rutherglen’s most contemporary winemakers Rowly Milhinch has proven to be the cream of the crop, named as a top 50 finalist in the 2022 Young Gun of Wine Awards and taking out the People’s Choice Award.

Since 2007, the awards have provided an opportunity to connect emerging winemaking talent with wine drinkers, and to support creative talent shaking things up and exploring news ideas in wine.

Mr Milhinch said it was “incredibly humbling” to receive the award.

“It speaks of our town and community because they are the ones who supported it,” he said.

“The fact the award is bright, shiny, and heavy is secondary to the community who supported us and allowed us to achieve it.”

The top 50 finalists in this year’s awards were selected from a long list of entrants.

Over two days of intensive judging, a panel of leading industry figures from across the country tasted their way through the wines to select who was in the running for the six trophies: Young Gun of Wine, Best New Act, People’s Choice, Winemaker’s Choice, Danger Zone, and the Vigneron.

“We chose to lead with a Durif in a light red for the finalist awards,” Mr Milhinch said.

“It’s amazing that the judges recognised our vision for Durif.

“To use a Durif, which is one our flagship varietals in Rutherglen, to win an award about innovation is so exciting. It sums up the meaning of our brand Scion and why we are here. The award really encapsulates a lot of what we have been working towards.”

The self-taught winemaker left a career in visual communication 20 years ago to establish Scion Wine and build a family life in Rutherglen.

“The journey has been amazing, with plenty of learning curves. The biggest thing was getting used farming and the nature of a seasonal commodity. It’s always evolving and changing and as winemakers, we have to grow and change with it,” he said.

Scion Wine is renowned for creating premium handcrafted wine with a modern twist, influenced by traditional Rutherglen varietals such as durif, viognier and muscat.

The Young Gun of Wine Awards founder Rory Kent congratulated all finalists at the awards ceremony held in Melbourne last week.

“These awards are as much about vision and leadership as they are about the quality of wine in the glass,” he said.

“Every year, we’re seeing new ideas from the emerging talent, and they’re shaping the environment that we get to enjoy.”