A YOUNG Rutherglen winemaker is among the top 12 in the country.
Simon Killeen made the cut in the 12 Young Guns of Wine competition, which was announced recently.
A seventh-generation winemaker, Mr Killeen is the first to represent the Rutherglen region.
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Mr Killeen branched out on his own in 2013 when he founded Simao & Co Wines.
He said he had worked closely with vignerons to source the best fruit from throughout the north east of the state.
"It's the prettiest and most diverse of wine regions in Australia," he said.
Mr Killeen is showcasing his 2016 Vintage Port and 2018 King Valley Sauvignon Blanc in the competition.
In 2005 Mr Killeen worked his first vintage at Gapsted Wines at Myrtleford.
He discovered vineyards belonging to John Cavedon and Richard Carson, whose fruit now goes into Simao & Co's sauvignon blanc.
The competition, now in its 13th year, celebrates the achievements of emerging wines and winemakers.
Starting with a round of 50 entrants, judges tasted more than 250 wines over two days to determine the final 12.
The finalists consist of four labels from Western Australia, four from Victoria, three from South Australia and one from Queensland.
Finalists are in the running to win the 2019 Riedel Young Gun of Wine, Best New Act, People's Choice and the Winemakers Choice awards.
Public tastings will be held on May 30 at Porteno Events, Sydney, and on June 1 at St Martins Youth Arts Centre, Melbourne.
About Simao & Co
BORN and raised in the Rutherglen region, Mr Killeen watched his father and grandfather craft some of the country's most legendary fortified wines.
Simao & Co is described as a tiny winery that makes stylish, classy and fun wines from the best vineyards in the five regions of north east Victoria. As well as those mentioned previously, Simao & Co Wines include the 2017 Alpine Valleys Tempranillo, 2016 Beechworth Shiraz and 2017 Glenrowan Old Vine Shiraz.
- This story first appeared on the Stock and Land.