IWC 2016 Tranche 1 Results: Congratulations to Wraxall!

Silver for Somerset's Wraxall Vineyard in Tranche 1 of the International Wine Challenge 2016


IWC-2014-StickersCongratulations to Wraxall Vineyard for the best results in the South West in Tranche 1 of  the International Wine Challenge 2016. Wraxall were awarded a coveted Silver Medal for their Somerset Sparkling Rosé 2013, which also won a Bronze in Verona's prestigious Bollicine del Mondo where Hambledon Vineyard was the only other English award-winner.

Wraxall's Jacky Brayton and Brian Shirley said, "We are very pleased to be part of the Southwest success story."

English entries to Tranche 1 small in number but high in quality

For English wines the first tranche of this major worldwide competition has historically attracted fewer entries than Tranche 2, whose 2016 results will be announced next May. This year's Tranche 1 saw an unusually high standard for English entries though, with a Gold to Hart of Gold, a Sussex producer for their 2010 sparkling, an uusually high proportion of 12 Silvers, 8 Bronzes and 7 Commended, mainly awarded to producers from the South East.

Bronze medals for Dunleavy, Eastcott and Yearlstone

Other South West awards were:

Bronzes for Ashbury Brut 2013 from Devon's Eastcott Vineyard, for North Somerset's Dunleavy Pinot Noir Rosé 2014 and Devon's Yearlstone Number 5 2014.

Commended for Eastcott, Redyeates and Lily Farm

Commendeds were awarded to three Devon vineyards: Eastcott for Furzehill 2014, Redyeates for Seyvor 2014 and Lily Farm for their Rosé 2014.

Well done to all award winners but especially those carrying the flag for the South West..





SWVA Trade Tasting in Exeter 22nd June

After the success of our Bristol Trade Tasting in the north east of the SWVA region, our next event is in the south west of the region on Monday 22nd June.

Again the event is a collaboration between the venue, this time the Rendezvous Wine Bar in Exeter, and the producers showing their wines. 

Eight producers from Cornwall, Devon and Dorset will be there. A chance to discuss and taste some of the the finest English wines available in the south west. The producers attending are, from Devon:  Eastcott, Lily Farm, Redyeates, Sharpham and Torview. From Cornwall: Polgoon and  newly-opened organic vineyard, Trevibban Mill. From Dorset: Furleigh Estate.

Hilary Waller from Eastcott Vineyard near Okehampton, who is helping to organise the event said, "Initial response to news of the event has been very good. We're delighted that well known wine writer and broadcaster Susy Atkins has already expressed an interest in attending."

Details below



Furleigh Estate Wines SWVA Wine of the Year 2015

Dorset’s Furleigh Estate Awarded SWVA Wine of the Year 2015

Winning Wine of the Year  and Best Sparkling is Furleigh Estate Classic Cuvée 2011

Results of the South West Vineyards Association’s annual competition were announced on 8th September at a members’ lunch and award ceremony at Aldwick Court Farm and Vineyard, Redhill, North Somerset.

Judging of the 141 wines entered for the competition had taken place at the same venue the day before, by a team of five judges, all with advanced qualifications from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, led by London-based Patricia Stefanowicz, Master of Wine. Organization of the competition was by members of the SWVA Committee under the leadership of Competition Secretary Alina Stankus.

After an excellent awards lunch, Patricia Stefanowicz  reviewed the wines, noting  the overall improvement over recent years, especially in red wines, and commending particularly the sparkling wine, rosé  and oaked white classes and also the off-dry classes, where wines from non-commercial producers had done particularly well.

Furleigh wine Wine of Year 2015

SWVA Chair Ian Edwards had the job of reading out the awards and trophies, to find that three of the trophies, for the best rosé, the best sparkling wine and the overall Wine of the Year were awarded to his own vineyard, Furleigh Estate. The Best Rosé was Furleigh Sea Pink 2014.

Ian enlisted the help of SWVA Treasurer Simon Boyce to present the trophies to his wife Rebecca Hansford, who received them on behalf of Furleigh (Pictured right with the South West Wine of the Year Trophy)

Other trophies

Three of the other trophies went to Devon producers: to Sharpham (Totnes) for the best dry white, to Pebblebed (Exmouth) for the best Sparkling rosé and to Lyme Bay Winery (Axminster) for the best oaked still white. Worcestershire’s Astley Vineyard took the trophy for the best commercial non-dry wine and Beeches Vineyard, Heredfordshire, for the best red.

Non-commercial wines

The trophy for the best non-commercial winemaker went to Peter Austerfield of Westhope Hill Vineyard in Herefordshire. Peter took the  shield for the best non-commercial dry white wine for his Madeleine Angevine 2014, and shared the shield for the best non-commercial non-dry wine. It was awarded jointly for Peter's Estate Medium Dry 2013, and to Darryl Gill from Claylands Vineyard for his “sierra eight one” 2014, both wines gaining silver medals and winning the two non-dry classes. Tony Griffin of North Somerset’s Northend Vineyard won trophies for best non-commercial red wine and best non-commercial sparkling wine.

Contribution to the SWVA Journal

The Gillian Pearkes Memorial bowl for the best contribution to the SWVA’s journal “The Vine Post” was awarded to Liz Mumcuoglu of Cornwall’s Trevibban Mill vineyard for her survey of under-vine weed management practices.

Full results are available on the Competition tab of the SWVA’s Home Page, link here>>

The event in pictures:

Judging, left to right, Tim Johnson, Mark Butler, Claire Roberts, Patricia Stefanowicz, Rebecca Mitchell, judging (x2), close up of judge Rebecca Mitchell, trophies ready, members gather, bottles uncovered set out in classes ready for tasting, members tasting the sparklings and reds, numbered bottlenecks, lunch, Patricia Stefanowicz MW reviewing the wines, SWVA Chair Ian Edwards announcing the full list of medals, Duncan Schwab receiving the Best Dry White trophy for Sharpham, Tony Griffin receiving the  trophy for the Best Non-Commercial sparkling wine, Engin Mumcuoglu receiving the Gillian Pearkes Memorial bowl on behalf of Liz Mumcuoglu.






SWVA's First Trade Tasting Success

Tasting Success!


On 28th May the South West Vineyards Association put onbordeaux-quay it's first ever Regional Trade Tasting. It was held at Bordeaux Quay in Bristol, a brasserie and restaurant in a converted warehouse with a spectacular view overlooking the harbour.

The nine participating vineyards, all from within reach of Bristol, were Aldwick Court Farm and Vineyard and Dunleavy from North Somerset, Furleigh Estate from Dorset, Lovells Vineyard from Malvern, Sixteen Ridges from Herefordshire, Oatley Vineyard, Smith & Evans and Wraxall from Somerset and Three Choirs from Gloucestershire.

SWVA_Trade_Tasting_2015The event attracted around a hundred members of the wine trade, mostly from Bristol. It was a collaborative effort between the vineyards showing their wines and Bordeaux Quay, instigated by SWVA Vice-Chair Guy Smith of Smith & Evans, with SWVA Secretary Ingrid Bates of Dunleavy  who did much of the work of identifying and inviting interested members of the wine trade in the Bristol area. All of the vineyards contributed contacts and helped publicise the event.

Ingrid said, "The idea was Guy’s but, with me being Bristol based, I was best placed to organise and invite trade customers to the event. We wanted to present our wines to the maximum number of people possible and it was easier to do this in a one-day event than through contacting individuals.

It felt exciting to think that no other event of this scale had been organised in Bristol before and even more exciting when we received such a positive response. Over 80 trade representatives signed up to attend the event with many more attending at the last minute through hearing of the event on Twitter.

The day itself was busy and both vineyards and trade were very happy at the end of it. A lot of trade said they knew their customers wanted to try and buy English wines and that they were in the initial stages of sourcing them. It was encouraging to hear that there is obviously demand out there and that this demand is fuelled by a genuine desire from customers asking suppliers for our products."

The event was filmed by the Made In Bristol TV Channel and will be screened on 9th June 6.30 and 9.30. Additionally Made In Bristol will be screening an item filmed at Dunleavy Vineyard on 2nd June. Online player here>>

The event in pictures:

SWVA_Banner View_from_Bordeaux_Quay

Cathie_Rolinson__Lovells_Vineyard Ingrid_Bates__DunleavyRebecca_Hansford_Furleigh_Estate

Smith__Evans Brian_Shirley__WraxallSandy_Luck__AldwickThree_Choirs Oatley_Vineyard2Sally_Booth__16Ridges


After this successful trial event another is planned in Exeter for wine producers in the west of the region. It will be on 22nd June at the Rendezvous Wine Bar in Exeter.

Photos of producers:

Cathie Rolinson | Lovells Vineyard, Malvern.

Ingrid Bates | Dunleavy, North Somerset.

Rebecca Hansford | Furleigh Estate, Dorset.

Laura Evans, Guy Smith | Smith & Evans, Somerset.

Brian Shirley | Wraxall Vineyard, Somerset.

Sandy Luck | Aldwick Court Farm and Vineyard, North Somerset.

Kevin Shayle, Martin Fowke | Three Choirs Vineyard, Gloucestershire

Iain Awty (behind camera) | Oatley Vineyard, Somerset.

Sally Booth | Sixteen Ridges, Herefordshire


Judges Announced for SWVA 2015 Competition

Judges Announced for SWVA Annual Competition 2015

We at SWVA are gearing up for our 2015 competition, highlight of our year. All of the judges hold advanced qualifications from the internationally recognised Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET). The competition will be judged on Monday 7th September at Aldwick Court Farm and Vineyard, and results will be announced to SWVA members at the awards ceremony and lunch the following day, Tuesday 8th September also at Aldwick Court Farm.

This year's chair of judges will again be Patricia Stefanowicz MW (Master of Wine). She will be joined by Claire Roberts, Sales Manager for Christopher Piper Wines in Devon, holding a WSET Diploma, and Tim Johnson, secretary of the West of England Wine and Spirit Association, WSET Diploma and qualified Wine Educator, both of whom also judged last year's competition, and by Rebecca Mitchell, Devon based wine consultant and WSET Educator, and Mark Butler of Cellarmarque, WSET Diploma.

141 Wines Entered: entries well up on 2014

Despite a new restriction of 3 wines per vineyard per class the total number of entries is well up on last year. A hundred and forty one wines have been entered, from the growing number of south west wine producers, compared with 114 in 2014. In order to keep the judging to one day, the team of judges will split into two for some classes to ensure that wines are given due time and consideration, although Patricia Stefanowicz as chair will taste all of the wines.

Judging at last year's event, also held at Aldwick Court Farm, is pictured below. Bottles are concealed in black drawstring jackets to ensure anonymity. The wines are blind-tasted, each class at a time, and then judges discuss and agree the scores for the class before embarking on the next class.  This year the "Dry White" class, which draws the largest number of entries, has been split into subsections. One is for wines from the "Bacchus" grape variety, which is becoming established as an English wine signature grape, one for oaked wines and one for un-oaked wines from grape varieties other than Bacchus.




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