The results of this year’s UK annual competition – The English & Welsh Wine of the Year Competition – have unveiled award winners from a wide range of producers from across the UK, from large to smaller, established vineyards and new faces to the industry.
An impressive number of medals were gained this year accounting for 78% of the 189 entries, including 11 Gold, 68 Silver and 69 Bronze. The wines were judged over two days by a team of six Masters of Wine, who marked the wines to international standards: Anthony Foster MW (Chairman), David Bird MW, Robin Crameri MW, Sally Easton MW, Maggie McNie MW and Patricia Stefanowicz MW,
The competition results also showed a good spread of awards from across the different regions, and reflected the high quality of still and sparkling wines alike from 60 vineyards/producers that entered.
Trophies are awarded to the winner of each category in the competition, each acknowledging the variety of wine styles produced in the UK. This year East Anglia showed its award-winning credentials, scooping 5 of the 13 trophies, with 4 won by South West producers, 3 from the South East and 1 from the East Midlands.
The three South East winners were all from Chapel Down, which won The Wine Guild Trophy (Most outstanding large production vintage earlier than 2012) for theirBacchus Reserve 2011, the McNie Trophy (Most outstanding oaked white wine) for Kit’s Coty Estate Chardonnay 2011 and the Best Red Trophy, the Bernard Theobald Trophy for their Pinot Noir 2011.
Bacchus proved its evident popularity by also scooping The Tom Day Trophy (Most outstanding single varietal wine), The Jack Ward Memorial Salver (most outstanding large production from 2012), and The Berwick Trophy (most outstanding unchaptalised still wine) – all of which were awarded Giffords Hall Bacchus 2012 (East Anglia).
This year’s top sparkling wine Trophy was won by Furleigh Estate (South West), who was awarded the same trophy last year. This year their Blanc de Noirs 2009won the award, along with an additional trophy, The President’s Trophy (the most outstanding small production wine).
Both sparkling and still rosé remain popular, gaining over a quarter of the Gold and Silver medals, and now have their own trophies: The Bob Lindo Trophy (most outstanding sparkling rosé wine) was awarded to Furleigh Estate Rosé 2010 and The Waitrose Rosé Trophy (most outstanding still rosé) was scooped by New Hall Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosé 2012 (East Anglia), which also won The English Wine Producers Dudley Quirk Memorial Trophy (Best Large Production).
Proving yet again that the UK produces exceptional dessert wine, the winner in this category, awarded The Stefanowicz Trophy is Eglantine North Star 2011 (East Midlands). Although the smallest category in the competition, the judges remarked on the quality of the entries.
“I was particularly impressed with the spread of new and established producers that won awards this year,” commented Paul Langham, Chairman of the United Kingdom Vineyards Association. “There are consistent winners each year which shows just what good producers they are and this year they are joined by the first wines of some of our newer names. This competition, judged by a team of highly professional judges has not only illustrated the ongoing success of our country’s sparkling wines, but also the fantastic range of still white, rosé and red wines. My congratulations to all the producers on such a great set of results.”
The Awards and medals will be presented at a celebration lunch at the House of Commons later in July, attended by many from the industry. Two of the most prestigious awards in the Competition: UK Winemaker of the Year and Wine of the Year will be announced at the lunch. A further Award, the English Wine Producers Communicator of the Year Award, will be announced shortly. A full set of results is available on www.englishwineproducers.com and www.ukva.org.uk