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The New UK Wine Awards: Stellar Array of Judges taste 300 wines in Glamorous Hotel du Vin, Wimbledon

The New UK Wine Awards: Stellar Array of Judges taste 300 wines in Glamorous Hotel du Vin, Wimbledon

 

  UKWAlogo  Cannizaro_House 

 

A team of judges led by Oz Clarke and Susie Barrie MW (of the BBC's "Saturday Kitchen") tasted over 300 English and Welsh wines entered into the new UK Wine Awards on Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th May. The competition is sponsored this year by Waitrose, Hotel du Vin and Country Life magazine. Judging took place in the stunning Cannizaro House, Hotel du Vin Wimbledon. 

Judges included big names in the wine world including Hamish Anderson, Jane Parkinson, Christine Parkinson, Richard Hemming MW, Elizabeth Kelly, Alex Hunt MW, David Bird MW, Becky Hull MW and Rebecca Palmer.    

 

     Oz_Clarke_judging       Susie_Barrie  Oz Clarke and Susie Barrie

The UK Vineyards Association runs the competition and this year has, after consulting members, upped the profile of the event and made it more consumer-focused.

Results will be announced on 31st May and awards will be presented at a prestigeous event in the summer, venue and date yet to be announced.

 

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SWVA AGM and Spring Meeting at Aldwick Court Farm and Vineyard

 

SWVA Members gathered for a welcome day out from winter pruning to meet friends and colleagues 2017_AGMat delightful Aldwick Court Farm and Vineyard, at Redhill near Bristol, on 7th March, by kind invitation of Sandy Luck.

 

Ian Edwards, Chairman, outlined first the recent developments in the organisation of the UKVA, including the creation by retiring UKVA Chair Sam Lindo of the UKVA Management Committee, as an extra resource to drive developments. The major outcome had been the appointment of CEO Barry Lewis and the negotiations towards unity with the marketing organisation of the large producers, English Wine Producers. There is still detail to be sorted out but the merger looks set to go ahead, with Extraordinarly General Meetings of both organisations expected in late spring to consider the proposals.

 

Jane Awty, a small-vineyard member of the Management Committee and an SWVA member has been  serving on the group that has been developing new proposals for the UK national wine competition, and presented details. The new competition will be known as the UK Wine Awards and will be a more consumer-facing event than the old English and Welsh Wine of the Year Competition. It has new sponsors and will have a higher profile, revised classes and a slightly earlier date, to allow results to be published for English Wine Week. Details will be publicised shortly.

 

Roger Eynon, a former SWVA member and steam rail enthusiast outlined a high profile English Wine Event planned for Midsummer’s Day at Avon Valley Railway’s HQ. Roger invited members to participate, free of charge, in showing and selling their wines. English Wine Producers will be taking a table to showcase award winners in the UK Wine Awards.

 

After the formal part of the meeting members enjoyed a delicious curry lunch and walked the Aldwick Court Vineyard with vineyard manager Elizabeth  Laver, while the committee met to plan for the year’s events.

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The New Look UK Wine Awards are Coming

 

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The UK Vineyards Association new competition is to be more consumer focused and high-profile. It is now open for entries and the closing date, 10th April, is approaching. We hope SW vineyards will take this not-to-be-missed opportunity to show off the excellent wines of the south west to a wide public.

 “The line up of Judges is fantastic with Susie Barrie and Oz Clarke as Co-Chairs, high profile sponsors with top quality press coverage of the competition” said Belinda Mercer, competition manager and secretary ofour sister organisation, the SEVA.

 “What an honour to be heading up the new-look UK Wine Awards”, said Susie Barrie, MW, “This is such an exciting time for UK wine and the category really deserves a top-notch competition like this, judged to international standards by an expert panel. The results will give fantastic exposure to the country’s top wines and act as a guide for consumers to the very best of what this great nation has to offer”. Susie Barrie MW is known to many as a star of the BBC’s “Saturday Kitchen”.

Sponsors include  Country Life, Hotel du Vin and Waitrose.

 The competition is open to any English or Welsh wine, made to PDO/PGI standards but the entry fee is lower for UKVA members,   £55 + VAT for UKVA members, £150 + VAT for non-members. 

 Medal categories are 


ST I L L  

Bacchus

Single Varietal White

Blended White

Red Pinot Noir

Red

Rosé

Sweet

SPARKLING  

Classic Cuvée

Non-Classic Blend

Blanc de Blancs

Blanc de Noirs

Rosé

Sparkling Red

Prestige Cuvée

Watch out for news about  non-wine category awards, coming soon.

The awards will be announced in time for the beginning of English Wine Week to maximise on publicity and for integration into vineyards’ marketing programmes.

Main trophies and non-product awards will be announced at the UK WINE AWARDS Celebration Lunch in July.

Click here >> for details and entry forms.

More detail from Belinda Mercer, Competition Manager

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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SWVA's 2017 AGM and Spring Meeting to be at Aldwick Court Farm and Vineyard near Bristol

SWVA members will be gathering for their spring meeting and 2017 AGM at Aldwick Court Farm and Vineyard on 7th March this year by kind invitation of Sandy Luck. This is always a popular occasion for producers to escape the rigours of winter pruning and compare notes on progress.

As well as the formal proceedings there will be an update from Sam Lindo of Cornwall's Camel Valley Vineyards, until recently Chairman of our parent organisation, the UK Vineyards Association, on moves towards unity with English Wine Producers, the marketing organisation for the biggest commercial vineyards. Sam was responsible during his tenure as Chair for boosting the capacity of the UKVA to enable it to develop into a more effective trade association for producers, to fit the rising reputation and scale of the English wine industry. This has led indirectly to the current negotiations to become a single organisation.

Another outcome is a new, more consumer orientated, higher profile national annual competition, to be known as the UK Wine Awards, which is starting this year. Results are due in English Wine Week at the end of May. Members will be keen to catch up with the latest news on this as the entry date approaches.

Aldwick Court Farm and Vineyard is at Redhill, close to Bristol airport.Aldwick_Court_Farm There are two vineyards, the first was planted in 2008 in approximately two acres of Homefield. Bordering the main drive to the Farmhouse complex, this was laid out with 2000 vines in blocks of Seyval Blanc, Early Pinot Noir, and Bacchus. In 2010, plantings were expanded into Woodlands, the south-westerly facing, hillside field overlooking Aldwick Lane.  Grape varieties here include Regent and Solaris, late ripening Pinot Noir, Seyval Blanc, and Bacchus – the 4th most widely grown wine grape in England. Together they total 8,900 vines spread over 9 acres.

Having failed to thrive, the 500 Homefield Bacchus vines were grubbed up and replaced in 2011 with 600 Madeleine Angevine – another ‘classic’ English wine grape.

Aldwick is a wedding venue, and aims to provide its own high quality wine for the enjoyment of its clients and their guests. It has been regularly winning awards since 2013, and in December landed a prestigious Silver Medal in Tranche 1 of the 2017 International Wine Challenge.

Members can find the programme and application forms in the Members Area/Notices and News for Members.

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Herefordshire’s Castle Brook Wins SW Wine of the Year

Herefordshire’s Castle Brook Wins SW Wine of the Year

Awards

At the South West Vineyards Association Annual Competition, held this year at Knightor Winery near St Austell in Cornwall, Castle Brook Classic Cuvée 2010 won the top gold medal and trophy for the Sparkling White class, narrowly beating other gold medal wines from Camel Valley, Lyme Bay Winery and Sharpham. After a taste-off against gold medal winners from other classes, it was awarded the SWVA Wine of the Year trophy by the team of judges led by Patricia Stefanowicz MW.

Castle Brook had also won this prestigious award in 2014 with their 2009 sparkling wine, Chinn Chinn.

155 Wines entered

Judging

 

 

There were 155 wines entered for the competition, all produced by members of the SWVA. They were judged at Knightor on Monday 12th September by a team of seven judges, all qualified in wine assessment and including several experienced international competition judges. They awarded 10 gold medals, 36 silvers and 65 bronzes. The results were announced at a full members meeting and following an excellent awards lunch, the following day, Tuesday 13th September. The judging is pictured left.

Trophy Winners

Other  major trophy winners were:

Sharpham Estate, Devon – Best Dry White: “Sharpham Bacchus 2014”.
Trevibban Mill, Cornwall: Best Dry Oaked White,”Constantine 2014”.
Three Choirs, Gloucestershire, Best Non-dry White, “Cellar Door Noble Harvest 2014”.
Lovells Vineyard Worcestershire, Best Rosé, “Sonatina Rosé 2015”.
Stocklands Vineyard, Somerset, Best Red “Greenhill Estate Pinot Noir 2015”.
Camel Valley, Cornwall, Best Sparkling Rosé, “Camel Valley 2013 Pinot Noir Rosé”.

Non-commercial trophy winners were Westhope Hill  for the best non-commercial non-dry white and best non-commercial sparkling white and Northend Vineyard for the best non-commercial red. Tony Griffin of Northen Vineyard won the trophy for the best small-scale winemaker.

The Gillian Pearkes Trophy for the best contribution to the SWVA went to Alina Stankus for her work on the competition.

The Judges

The judges were Patricia Stefanowicz MW (Chair) who has led the judging for the SWVA competition foir a number of years, Lindsey Oram (WSET Diploima, AWE, IWSC judge), Jemma Mitchell (WSET Diploma and Educator), Tim Johnson (WoEWSA, WSET Diploma and Educator), Ed Adams MW (Wine Importer), Peter Csizmadia-Honigh (international wine judge), Richard Coulson (IWSC judge).

The SWVA Team

Setting_out_the_bottles

The SWVA team were Alina Stankus (SWVA Competition secretary, overall organisation), Simon Boyce (who prepared the bottles and organized the flights for judging) and Jane Awty (who entered the judges scores). Here (right) are Simon and Alina setting out a class of wines ready for judging, wrapped in foil to ensure anonymity.

 

Awards Ceremony

Before the awards, UKVA Chair Sam Lindo outlined to members where talks exploring unity with English Wine Producers, the marketing arm of the industry, had reached.

Patricia Stefanowicz reviewed the wines, noting that the medals Included wines from non commercial vineyards and some really impressed the panel. She commended the Reds - many were really successful, the trophy-winner almost gold medal standard and some good silvers. The rosés were really mixed. Balance is crucial in rosés, but there were good golds, silvers and bronzes. Dry whites were subdivided, with eleven in the separate class for the Bacchus grape and all got an award. That reinforces the suitability of the Bacchus grape for this climate. The top Bacchus was a finalist for Wine of the Year. A lot of so2 in the other dry whites, which made tasting difficult, but some were delightful.  The oaked whites were interesting, the judges enjoyed them, noting good, judicious use of oak. The medium dry wines were ok, but the medium sweet were glorious. Sparkling wines were superb, the whites stellar, 4 golds were awarded. The rosé sparkling were more mixed, the judges gave 2 golds - beware of too much dosage! Overall, Patricia commented, "SW wines are a constellation shining from the heavens!"

The individual awards were then announced by SWVA Vice Chair Guy Smith and presented by Patricia Stefanowicz with the help of Simon Boyce.

The day in pictures:

Knightor_outdoors Producers_in_the_wineryKnightor_Winery Winetastinglunch Sam_Lindo_Chair_UKVA Duncan_Schwab_Sharpham Liz_Mumcuoglu_Trevibban_Mill Ben_Hawker_Three_Choirs Mark_Thorp_Stocklands Sam_Lindo Tony_Griffin Alina_Stankus

Pictured above:

SW producers tour of the Knightor winery; the pre-lunch tasting of the competition wines; lunch in the Knightor restaurant; Sam Lindo speaking in his role as UKVA Chair pictured with Guy Smith, SWVA vice chair;  Duncan Schwab of Sharpham Estate receiving the trophy for best dry white from Patricia Stefanowicz;  Liz Mumcuoglu of Trevibban Mill receiving the Best Oaked White trophy; Ben Hawker of Three Choirs receiving the Best Non-Dry White trophy; Mark Thorp of Stocklands Vineyard receiving the Best Red Trophy; Sam Lindo of Camel Valley receiving the Best Sparkling Rosé trophy; Tony Griffin of Northend Vineyard receiving the Best Non-Commercial Winemaker trophy and Alina Stankus receiving the trophy for the best contribution to the SWVA.

Full results here>>


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