Gwyn Olsen wins Young Winemaker of the Year!

Gwyn against wall colour


Gwyn Olsen, head winemaker at one of our favourite wineries Briar Ridge, has been awarded Gourmet Traveller WINE Magazine’s, The Young Winemaker Medal. The Young Winemaker medal is awarded annually to a young winemaker who is assessed and appreciated for their raw talent, ascension in the wine community, commitment and interest in broader pursuits and for producing exceptional wines.

“Gwyn Olsen was a standout for her increasingly significant take on not only Hunter Valley wines of high quality and typicity, but a curiosity that drives her to experiment and reflect on more historical Australian winemaking and styles”, says Mike Bennie, Gourmet Traveller WINE judge.

“Her immediate impact at the helm of Briar Ridge is impressive, her skills both visceral and technical, have her at the top of her game”, he furthers.

Winning this award “…left me completely speechless”, says Gwyn. “With so many young winemakers doing interesting thi
ngs and making their mark on the industry, I felt very humbled and privileged to accept this award”.

This Young Winemaker Medal adds to Gwyn’s already impressive list of achievements. In 2012 Gwyn was awarded the title of ‘Dux’ at the Australian Wine Research Institute, Advanced Wine Assessment Course. Con Simos, Coordinator of the AWAC describes Gwyn as an “individual with exceptional judging skill and deserves the opportunity to be fast tracked into the national wine show system.” As a result Gwyn now judges at six wine shows throughout Australia, including three National Wine Shows – Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane.

This award for Gwyn tops off a great year on the wine show circuit for the whole Briar Ridge team (who are now busy arguing over who is NOT going to clean the silverware).

Gwyn has four trophies on the shelf so far – a hat trick for the 2014 Briar Ridge “Dairy Hill” Single Vineyard Semillon, and another for the 2013 Briar Ridge “Dairy Hill” Single Vineyard Shiraz. In 2014 Gwyn was appointed the additional role of General Manager for Briar Ridge and continues to enjoy the challenges and opportunities to not only craft diverse, high quality wines but also to lead the Briar Ridge team to build the iconic Briar Ridge brand.

Congratulations Gwyn!