On Thursday June 30, the 2016 Young Gun of Wine finalists descend on Melbourne for the People’s Choice Decider, a one night only event.

Attendees will meet the top 12 young winemakers of 2016, who are showing two wines each; try their product; and determine who wins the People’s Choice award.

To help the task of tasting through 24 wines, canapés will be coming from the much-loved kitchen of Bellota. In further treats, Prince Wine Store is providing a $20 voucher for the purchase of some of the finalists’ wines on the night; and everyone will also be taking home a gift Riedel glass, the Ouverture Magnum.

The winemakers are travelling from all winegrowing corners of Australia for this event, and include eight first-time finalists. Thomas Hogan, sommelier and owner of Harry & Frankie, is one of many looking forward to trying the wines: “It’s a super exciting time to be involved in the Aussie wine industry. A dynamic new generation of winemakers are questioning the how, what, where and why of the status quo – producing wines of intrigue, character and most importantly, quality. The Young Gun of Wine Awards places these winemakers directly in the spotlight and champions their efforts to the industry and public alike.”

In addition to the 12 finalists, the creative team from Alquimie magazine will be along doing a little show and tell. As well, past finalist and DJ-turned-winemaker, David Bowley of Vinteloper will be in the house and on the decks, playing his favourite winemaking and babymaking tunes.

Past winner, Mike Aylward of Ocean Eight, will also be along showing what he’s up to these days. Ocean Eight are presenting the Winemaker’s Choice award. “Winning the Young Gun of Wine in 2011 was the catalyst to us gaining serious recognition throughout trade and with the best restaurants of Australia, not to mention my winemaking peers. I’m very proud to now have Ocean Eight sponsor the Winemaker’s Choice.”

The “People’s Choice” and the “Ocean Eight Winemaker’s Choice” are two of four trophies up for grabs – the others being the “Wine Australia Best New Act” and the “Riedel Young Gun of Wine”. Trophy winners will be announced the following day.

Held at Prince Wine Store in South Melbourne, from 6pm-8pm, early bird tickets to the People’s Choice Decider are $35. Numbers are strictly limited. For bookings, please visit Eventbrite.