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English & Welsh Wines Sparkle

The English & Welsh Wine of the Year Awards were judged on Monday and Tuesday last week (22nd and 23rd June) by a team of eight Masters of Wine.

Seven of the 11 gold medals awarded were won by sparkling wines. The UK’s cool climate aromatic whites also proved their unique and appealing quality, in both dry and off dry styles, with two single varietal Ortega wines gaining gold medals and two trophies and a Siegerrebe also striking gold. Organic wine success was boosted with a gold medal awarded to a sparkling wine from Davenport Vineyards.

Trophies were awarded to a spread of small, medium and large producers. Camel Valley continued its successful run of awards by winning two trophies this year: the EWP Trophy for their Bacchus 2007 and Waitrose Rosé Trophy for their still Rosé 2008. Chapel Down won the Wine Guild Trophy (for largest production excluding 2008 vintage) for their off dry white Cinque Port 2006, and Sharpham Vineyard Barrel Fermented 2007 won the McNie Trophy for Best Oaked White. Three Choirs secured a double winner for their Siegerrebe 2007, with the trophy for Best Single Varietal and Best Small Production trophy. A surprise winner is first time and new entry Mount Vineyard, which scooped the Bernard Theobald Trophy (Best Red Wine) for their varietal blend Recession Red NV.

The star of the show this year is Ridgeview Wine Estate, which scooped 3 of the 11 gold medals along with a silver and bronze and two trophies, including the coveted Gore-Browne Trophy (the Wine of the Year Award) and the Vintner’s Trophy for Best Sparkling Wine, both awarded to their Knightsbridge 2006, a Pinot Noir/Pinot Meunier blend. To add to the accolades, Michael Roberts, proprietor and winemaker at Ridgeview Wine Estate, is the 2009 Winemaker of the Year.

“This annual UK vineyards competition highlights the quality and range of styles that England and Wales produce,” commented judge Patricia Stefanowicz MW. “Once again I must bow to the sparkling wines. They showed a true excellence and quality.”

For the full list of awards visit English Wine Producers.

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