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SWVA Exeter Tasting June 20th

Devon and Cornwall's Vineyards Come to Town - Exeter June 20th 2 - 6pm


Come and taste the finest English wine that the South West has to offer. The SWVA, as it did last year, is holding a second trade and public tasting event in Exeter on June 20th, following the May 5th tasting in Bristol. The Exeter event will feature mainly producers from Devon and Cornwall.

The central Exeter venue, Exeter Phoenix in Gandy St, is bigger than last year's and will feature 12 producers from across 4 counties. The event runs from 2 to 6 and is open to consumers as well as to the wine trade. A £5 ticket covers entrance, tasting from all of the vineyards and an opportunity to meet the producers. Consumers can buy tickets from the venue or online from Eventbrite - see details below. Members of the wine trade will be invited - if you are an interested member of the wine trade and you haven't yet received a notification of the event please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


swva 2016 exeter poster sm


Success for SW Wines in the Sommelier Wine Awards 2016

Results for SW Vineyards in Sommelier Wine Awards


Wines from the South West of England landed a Trophy,  2 Golds, 4 Silvers, 3 Bronzes and 6 Commendeds in this year’s Sommelier Wine Awards, announced 27th April. The prestigious Trophy was the Critics Choice award, given to Knightor’s off-dry Mena Hweg 2013.

English wines did very well overall, with a grand total of  2 trophies, 11 Golds, 19 Silvers, 12 Bronzes and 23 Commended.

Golds were awarded to Lyme Bay Winery’s still, white Shoreline 2014  and to Camel Valley’s white sparkling Cornwall Brut 2013.

Silvers went to Three Choirs, Sharpham, Langham and Camel Valley.

Full results for SW vineyards below. English Wine Producers’ report on English Wines success in the awards here>> and full competition results here>>

Congratulations to all the  SW award-winners in this increasingly influential competition, the only UK competition for the on trade.





Critics Choice Trophy Knightor Mena Hweg 2013
Gold Lyme Bay Winery Shoreline 2014
Camel Valley Cornwall Brut


Silver Three Choirs Cellar Door Sigerrebe 2013
Sharpham Bacchus


Langham Blanc de Blancs Brut 2011
Camel Valley Pinot Noir Brut Rosé


Bronze Camel Valley Bacchus Dry 2014
Lyme Bay Winery Pinot Noir Rosé 2014
Camel Valley Pinot Noir Rosé 2014
Commended Trevibban Mill Black Ewe Red 2014
Lyme Bay Winery Bacchus Fumé 2014
Three Choirs Cellar Door Bacchus 2014
Knightor Trevannion 2014
Furleigh Sea Pink 2014
Knightor 9112 Brut  NV

March 2016 roundup from SW Wines

March roundup from the South West of England vineyards and wineries

A roundup  of stories for March 2016 compiled from tweets of our member vineyards. You can follow the links to the tweets quoted. We hope to make this a regular feature.


The main activity of the month for most vineyards was pruning. Tweets included photos of accompanying dogs, visitors and vineyard-grazing sheep. Robb at Monmouthshire’s White Castle, pruned with Smokey Joe, a push-along mobile prunings incinerator. Camel Valley’s Annie Lindo was one of the earliest to finish, making the front page of the Cornish Guardian with her celebratory finishing photo on March 2nd.

As the month drew to a close there were photos of rising sap dripping from pruning cuts, swelling vine buds and from @Furleighwine and @TrevibbanMill their first baby lambs in time for Easter.

Blending and bottling the 2015 vintage

Winemaker Steve Brooksbank, who makes wine for a number of Somerset, Devon and Dorset smaller vineyards, was bottling the 2015 vintage mid-month. and his vineyards were enthusing over tank samples, making blending decisions and transporting their 2015s home. White Castle were tasting at Three Choirs. Some involved their outlets in the excitement, Dunleavy hot-footing it to Bristol wine bar @BellitaBristol and Bride Valley sharing the event with London-based Liberty Wines.

Start of summer opening

White Castle and Trevibban Mill were open to visitors earlier, but most of our vineyards that open to the public threw open their doors for the first time in 2016 on Good Friday, 25th Mar, including Yearlstone, Camel Valley, Furleigh, Oatley, Polgoon and Smith&Evans. Oatley who use a marquee for larger parties, put it up for their Easter opening only to see Storm Katie carry it away and dump it on top of the farm 4x4. Later in the week they posted a photo of happy visitors tasting outside in the sunshine.

Developments in March

Camel Valley had a major winery extension starting construction on 3rd and continued posting updates through the month and a time-lapse video clip of the nearly-complete construction at the end of the month.

Sixteen Ridges launched a new website

Secret Valley created a new map of walking trails on their Quantock farm

Lyme Bay Winery completed a shop refit

Smith & Evans opened to the public for the first time at Easter and intend to offer tours on Fridays and Saturdays through the summer.

Knightor launched Friday Feast nights on 25th March with a charity candlelight supper in aid of @ShelterboxUK

@_AndyAppleton opened his restaurant @TrevibbanMill on 16th March with followed by a chorus of admiring tweets.

Knightor and Sutton Ridge both released their first sparkling wine.

Castle Brook offered a double promotion of their sparkling wine and their early-season asparagus to help crowd fund a wine and asparagus feast as part of Bristol Food Connections


6 Mar: Sharpham Wines hosted runners from @Delishtrails on a food and drink fun run.

8 Mar a successful SWVA AGM at Frome Valley hosted by Jeanie Falconer, Attended by new UKVA CEO Barry Lewis, with demonstrations of Pellenc vineyard equipment by @EtesiaUK and lunch of a goulash cooked outdoors one a traditional serbian kotlich by @kotlichcook

8th Mar: Cornwall and Devon Wine Fair featured Sharpham, Trevibban Mill and Knightor wines.

SWVA announced its 2016 Trade and Public tasting would be on 5th May at The Boardroom and would form part of the Bristol Food Connections event.

Over the Easter weekend @FalOyster was serving oysters with Camel Valley’s fizz at a popup bar on the quay at Falmouth

Exeter Food Festival, @exeterfoodfest, announced that Sharpham, Bennevitis and Pebblebed would be exhibiting at their festival 22-24 April.

31 Mar Smith & Evans were announced as finalists in the Western Daily Press Food and Farming awards.

National Media Coverage

On 3rd Mar Jancis Robinson published an article in th FT “An Awfully Big Adventure” on the maturing of the English wine industry. She recommended her top 15 English sparkling wines including from the SW Bride Valley, Camel Valley, Furleigh.

On 25th March Camel Valley and @furleighwine were featured on Radio 2 with @jollyolly and @michelrouxjr

On 29 mar Camel Valley’s Sam Lindo in his role as  UKVA Chair was interviewed on BBC Farming Today about the ambitious English Wine export targets agreed with Environment Minister Liz Truss. After fending off a rather aggressive interviewer “with aplomb” as Simon Stockton @sugarandyeast noted, Sam, @camelwinemaker, tweeted “a good job @camelvalleybob taught me his RAF training on how to survive interrogation…”


The South West's internationally acclaimed winemakers are coming to town

The South West’s internationally acclaimed winemakers are coming to town….. 


Following the resounding success of its first trade tasting last year, the South West Vineyards Association is holding a  trade tasting in Bristol on May 5th 2016 from 3pm to 5.30 pm  with a public tasting to follow. This year it will be part of the Bristol Food Connections event, and will be held at

The Boardroom, Market Chambers, 20 St Nicholas St, Bristol BS1 1UB

Guy Smith SWVA Vice Chair commented

“Many people aren’t aware that there are many prestigious vineyards in the South West run by passionate people making great wines that regularly win multiple awards including  UK Winemaker of the year, UK Wine of the year and Worlds Best Sparkling Rose. We have a huge range of soils that are perfect for world class wine making but because many of our vineyards are small family run concerns, we don’t necessarily get the same attention as some of the big names elsewhere”.


The tasting will encourage Bristol venues and trade outlets to look carefully at their wine list and to include some of the fantastic English wines being produced in their region and that the public tasting will help Bristol wine fans to know more about their excellent wines produced on their doorstep.

Details are – Trade Tasting 15.00 – 17.30
Consumer event 17.30 – 19.30 60 people, £12 per ticket for six tastes.

Participating vineyards are

Oatley Vineyard, Cannington, Somerset
Dunleavy Vineyard, Wrington, North Somerset
Furleigh Estate, Salway Ash near Bridport, Dorset
Wraxall Vineyard, near Shepton Mallet, Somerset
Aldwick Court Farm & Vineyard, Redhill, North Somerset
Smith & Evans, Aller, near Langport, Somerset
Camel Valley Vineyard, near Bodmin, Cornwall
Sutton Ridge Vineyard, Redhill, Somerset

A link to the poster for the public event is here.


Julia Trustam Eve who heads up English Wine Producers (EWP), the marketing body for English wine commented: “English wine is on the rise – in production, sales and consumer engagement. With demand from across the country we want to make English wines feature more prominently outside the South East. Bristol is a fantastic market, with a thriving food and drink culture that is dedicated to supporting quality local producers.

“This is a great opportunity for more of the trade and members of the public in the region to get to know the great wines made on their doorstep.”

“Last year the SWVA held a fantastic trade event in Bristol which attracted more than 100 people including representatives from all of the local Michelin starred restaurants and received some great feedback”..

English wines continue to gain popularity across the trade, from high street retailers to high end restaurants. The industry itself is growing; the area of vineyards in the UK has doubled in the last seven years and now stands at more than 4,900 acres, or 2,000 hectares.

The event is being produced by the SWVA in collaboration with Bristol Food Connections and “The Boardroom”.

The SWVA will also be running a similar event in Exeter later in the year that will feature more Devon and Cornwall vineyards. Details to folow.

The SWVA is a region of the UKVA representing vineyards in the south west of England and the Welsh borders.


Notes to editors

Please contact Guy Smith, vice chair of SWVA, for more information: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

SWVA set to repeat trade tastings in 2016

Committee meets at Manstree Vineyard to plan 2016 programme

The SWVA Committee met at the Boyce's at Manstree, Shillingford St George near Exeter on 2nd December to plan the programme of events for next year, and to hear the Chairman, Ian Edwards (Furleigh, Dorset), report back from the council meeting of our parent organisation, the UK Vineyards Association at which its future organisation had been discussed.

2016 Events

The AGM and Spring Meeting for SWVA members will be at the beginning of March, probably 8th, in the north of the region. The Competition will be in September again, probably in Cornwall, but the Committee propose an AGM discussion about maybe moving it back to the winter, the following year, to avoid the busy pre-harvest and back-to-school period. The growth of the competition has meant we need to explore expanding the panel of judges for 2016.

Discussions about a summer meeting or event are ongoing.

Local Trade Tastings to be taken forward for 2016

Perhaps the key decision was to endorse the local Trade Tastings as a feature to be taken forward. They were held as an experiment in Bristol and Exeter in 2015, and judged a success by participating vineyards and the invited attendees from the trade. Guy Smith will be leading on the 2016 Bristol trade tasting and Faye Pratt on Exeter. 

Social Media

Our @SWVineyardsUK twitter feed is now up to 600 followers including many wine journalists, bloggers and people from the wine trade. The "Buy SW Wines Online webpage" seems to be generating quite a few referrals. However the site software is creaking and really needs updating, and Simon Day no longer has the time available. The Committee will explore possible ways forward.

Cathie Rolinson agreed to take on the development of a community Facebook page for SW vinegrowers.

UK Vineyards Association Organisational Change

SWVA Chair Ian Edwards reported on the changes proposed for the UKVA organisation. Sam Lindo, Chair of the UKVA wrote to members on the same day explaining the proposals. They are to strengthen the UKVA's governance before progressing any merger with English Wine Producers, the marketing organisation for larger producers, which had been an aim at the start of the project. The UKVA is to recruit a CEO, in addition to its secretary, and create an elected management committee meeting 6 times a year and a marketing task force to manage UKVA marketing activities more actively. The proposals will be put to the UKVA AGM on 11th February.

Committee Changes

There have been some changes to the SWVA Committee. Sam Lindo (Camel Valley, Cornwall) and Judith Dudley (Parva Farm, Mon) have decided to stand down, Sam in view of his commitments as Chair of the UKVA. The Committee thanked them for their contribution. Robert Cowley (Cowley Estate, Glos) has joined the Committee as Editor of the Association's biannual magazine, The Vine Post. Previous editor Alison Routh (Wellhayes Vineyard, Devon) remains on the committee. Cathie Rolinson (Lovells Vineyard, Worcs), has taken over from her husband John.

A tour of Boyces at Manstree

After lunch kindly provided by Mrs Boyce committee members enjoyed a tour of the vineyard led by Simon and Tim Boyce, including seeing the oldest commercial vines in Devon, 36-year-old Madeleine Angevine and Seyval Blanc, originally planted by Gerry Symons, founder of Manstree Vineyard and for many years a former Chair of the SWVA. The Boyces have made significant new plantings of grapes that are now sold to other estates, and they buy in wine from these estates to sell in their shop. They also grow 8 acres of soft, some top fruit and flowering plants.


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