Devon Life's Best Drinks Product award for Lily Farm

Lily Farm English Wines win Devon Life's "Best Drinks Product" 2015


Congratulations to Faye and Alan Pratt of Lily Faye_and_Alan_Pratt_Devon_Life_Best_Drinks_ProducerFarm Vineyard, Budleigh Salterton for winning the accolade of "Best Drinks Product" at Devon Life's Food and Drink Awards 2015.

The shortlist is decided by readers' votes, followed up by a visit and tasting from the judges to decide on the final ranking. At a glittering awards dinner on 23rd November at Sandy Park in Exeter, hosted by Simon Bates, Faye and Alan learned that they had topped the final shortlist.

" It was a pleasant end exciting surprise to find ourselves listed as one of the 3 finalists with Luscombe Drinks and Hanlons Brewery, especially when we discovered that this had been achieved as Devon Life readers had voted for us!" said Faye, "Thank you to Devon Life for a fabulous night at the Devon Life Awards at Sandy Park, what a great venue! We are so excited to be the winner of 'Best Drinks Product of 2015' and to have met the legendary Simon Bates! THANK YOU to everyone who voted for us."
The award was for Lily Farm's range of wines and three of their wines featured on the gastronomic local menu for the evening, pictured below: their Sparkling Brut, Red 2013 and Bacchus Dry 2014.
Devon Life have published a video of the awards ceremony, which features an interview of Faye and Alan at the vineyard, 26 minutes in. Here is a link to the video>>

                 Lily_Farm_Best_Drinks_Product                                             Devon_Life_Menu 

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

Congratulations to Camel Valley and Castle Brook: CSWWC results


Camel Valley and Castle Brook Strike Gold in 2nd Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships

Results were announced at a glittering awards dinner on 2nd September at London's Vintners Hall for this fast-growing and respected world-wide sparkling wine competition.

Wines were entered this year from every sparkling wine producing region in the world, and the judging had to be moved to a larger venue, from Sussex's Plumpton College Wine Research Centre where the 2014 inaugural competition was held, to Salomon's Estate a country house estate near Tunbridge Wells in Kent.

Judging is by international sparkling wine specialists and is extremely tough. Entries are awarded Gold, Silver, Bronze, Commended or no award, according to normal international standards, and then every wine awarded less than Silver is knocked out of the awards, with only golds and silvers included in the announced results.

SWVA members Camel Valley and Castle Brook won Gold Medals, with Camel Valley also taking Best in Class for English Sparkling Rosé with their 2012 Pinot Noir Brut. Bob Lindo is pictured below receiveing the award from Essi Avellan MW. Castle Brook's winning wine was their 2009 Classic Cuvée Brut, also the winner of last year's SWVA Wine of the Year.


Supreme World Champion trophy winner was Louis Roederer's Cristal Rosé 2004. Trentodoc producer Ferrari was awarded Sparkling Wine Producer of the year, with nine gold medals including seven Best in Class. Piemonte's Cuvage Rosé won the Chairman's Trophy for the most exciting brut sparkling wine from an indigenous grape variety (Niebbolo).

Other Gold Medals in the English Class went to Bolney, Chapel Down, Coates & Seely, Digby, Gusbourne, Hattingley Valley, Henners, Hoffmann & Rathbone,  Jenkyn Place and Nyetimber (x2).

Silver Medals were awarded to Breaky Bottom, Goring, Gusbourne, Hattingley Valley, Herbert Hall, Hush Heath, Jenkyn Place, Nyetimber, Plumpton, Ridgeview and Wyfold.

Official report.

Full results

Congratulations to all award-winners but especially to our very own Camel Valley from Cornwall and Castle Brook from Herefordshire!


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…”


English Wine Evening at Bristol's Library Wine Bar

Bristol's Library Wine Bar Holds its First English Wine Evening


The up-and-coming Library Wine Bar, just around the corner from Montpelier Station at 208, Cheltenham Road,  in the St Andrew's district of Bristol, was packed on Monday evening, 24th August 2015, for it's first English Wine evening, partly inspired by the SWVA's Trade Tasting at Bordeaux Quay.

Local vineyards Aldwick Court Farm and Dunleavy from North Somerset and Combe Hay from Bath were joined by Oatley and Wraxall from Somerset and South Devon's Pebblebed. Pre-booked customers paid £10 for a tasting glass and 7 vouchers to swap for wine tastings. It was a lively, interested, enthusiastic crowd.

Wine sales by the bottle on the night were limited, but producers felt satisfied to have raised the awareness of interested, mostly young, wine-aware Bristolians about the excellent wines produced on their doorstep.


                            Vineyards setting up their stalls.




 The evening in full swing, Ingrid Bates of Dunleavy Vineyard in the foreground.


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