Charlotte Hardy of Charlotte Dalton Wines has been named 2021 Young Gun of Wine at the 15th Annual Young Gun of Wine Awards, founded by Rory kent.
“I feel so grateful,” Charlotte says.
“And thank you, Young Gun of Wine, I sort of entered it as my last ditch because I’m not so young anymore, and to win it is just amazing.
“I’m kind of lost for words which is very unlike me.”
Judge Nick Stock says, “Charlotte has blazed an individual, considered and popular path to success.
“She leads by example in terms of the wines she makes and the way she has established her label.
“But she also has the kind of self belief and work ethic that is crucial to be successful in the modern world of wine.
“Her story is a great one for all young winemakers to study.”
Charlotte Dalton Wines were launched from the 2015 vintage, a Semillon and a Shiraz made in an unfussed lo-fi way.
“But these weren’t your classic new wave wines from Basket Range (Adelaide Hills),” the judges say.
“They were certainly a pivot from the norm, unbound though not wild, essentially personal expressions. Hardy’s wines are like that, made with technical understanding, but intuitively, a reflection of mood and moment.”
Originally based in Basket Range, Charlotte moved to Port Elliott on the Fleurieu Peninsula in 2019 where she shares a winery and cellar door with her husband.
Hardy had very much became wrapped up in what has been the locus for natural wines in this country, and her wines were often seen as part and parcel of that movement. And while it’s no judgement on the makers of Basket Range, she wanted to be seen for what she did, and the personal styles she made.
“There is change with the wines every year – all of my experiences and growth change the wines, which I always marvel at because they are really left to their own devices,” Charlotte says.
“I don’t really make any stylistic choices, rather the grapes do.
“It’s tiny things I do differently that I am not conscious of, that changes the wines.
“These things fascinate me, as I am quite interested in the science, but the numbers don’t give an indication of how the wine feels. Hard to explain. Wine has soul.”
And though Hardy is physically removed from the Hills, her connection to the wine community and importantly the network of like-minded growers that she is so passionate about has never been stronger. And that network has grown even larger, working with Bec and Nick Dugmore on their Guroo project to raise the profile of Kangaroo Island as a region, while she also collaborates with the Langhorne Creek 5255 project to similar ends.
For more detail about the award winners click here.
WBM – Australia’s Wine Business Magazine is a supporter of the Young Gun of Wine Awards.
Full list of award winners
Young Gun of Wine
2021 Danger Zone
Saison Blackcurrant Leaf Vermouth
Best New Act
2021 People’s Choice
Alpha Box & Dice
Photo: Mike Smith.