Local winemakers from across the county are celebrating success following the announcement of this year’s Wine GB Awards medals, says Nick Mosley.
Showcasing the increasingly world-recognised wine industry of England and Wales, the medal results were announced on Wednesday 3 July, having been judged earlier in June.
The calibre of judges and competition partners make this a major competition for Great Britain’s wine producers. The panel included an impressive line up of wine luminaries, led by co-chairs master of wine Susie Barrie and Oz Clarke. Each judge was carefully selected to represent different spheres of the wine world, and all the wines were judged to international standards of marking.
Notable wins from Sussex producers include two golds to Wiston Estate in West Sussex for their non-vintage Blanc de Blancs and Rosé sparkling wines.
“It is with very great excitement that we had the news of our two gold medals for our Rosé NV and Blanc de Blanc NV”, said Kirsty Goring of Wiston. “It is hugely encouraging to be building on our success of the WineGB Winery of the Year Award in 2018. Having recently won the 2019 Trophy from the Independent English Wine Awards for our Brut NV, and now these golds for our other two Non-Vintages it feels like a fantastic endorsement for our entry level wines.”
Whilst around 70% of wine production in England and Wales is sparkling, the percentage of still wine production is increasing, and more importantly, the quality is improving year-on-year. Bluebell Vineyard Estates launched its Ashdown range of still wines earlier in the summer and these received both silver and bronze medals.
At Bolney Wine Estate, head winemaker Sam Linter is celebrating a gold medal for her iconic Pinot Noir 2018 still red wine. Bolney has been at the forefront of still red wine production in the the UK, meaning this accolade is particularly important for their team.
“This is our first gold medal for this wine”, said Sam. “We’ve worked hard perfecting our Pinot, year on year, since we started making it in the late 90s. We have consistently won Silver medals internationally and nationally for this wine, including Silver Outstanding previously, so this is a fantastic award and the next step for our hero wine - and the variety that we love most”.
“We were championing Pinot Noir when English still wines and English reds were still in their infancy and this level of recognition is fantastic”.
The Wine GB Awards Trophy winners will be unveiled at the competition’s Awards Ceremony on 23 July, sponsored by Waitrose and Rankin. These will include 13 best in class trophies, plus the top winners for Best Still, Best Sparkling and Supreme Champion. Other notable trophies include Winery of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Boutique Producer of the Year.