Taste some of the Finest Somerset Wines for "Somerset Day"

Taste Some of the Finest Somerset Wines for Somerset Day May 10th


Three SWVA vineyards will be helping to celebrate the first "Somerset Day" on 10th May at Blackmore Farm Cannington, west of Bridgwater off the A39. It's a chance to taste local award-winning wines and artisan cheeses at leisure in the flagged farm shop or lawned outdoor refreshment area of this spectacular medieval farm.

A good opportunity to find out what Somerset has to offer: the three vineyards taking part produce between them some of Somerset's finest English wines. All three are winners of prestigious international awards, and produce different styles of wine. The vineyards are Oatley Vineyard from Cannington near Bridgwater, Smith & Evans from Aller near Langport and Wraxall Vineyard from Wraxall near Shepton Mallet.

This tasting will take place at Blackmore Farm Shop, Cannington, west of Bridgwater from 11am to 4pm on Sunday 10th May 2015. Free car parking. Refreshments available using locally sourced ingredients from Blackmore's cafe. You will be able to taste wines free and buy by the glass or bottle to take home.Blackmore_Farm

Somerset Day has been chosen to honour Alfred the Great's mustering of an army to fight the invading Danes. The day is to be celebrated annually on May 11th. This year the 11th is a Monday and events are mostly planned over the weekend, 9th and 10th May. More information about Somerset Day and planned events around the County on the PassionforSomerset website here>>


Camel Valley and Langham Lead for South West in IWC Tranche 2

International Wine Challenge Tranche 2 Results Announced 13 May 2015


Camel Valley take Gold and 2 Silvers and Langham 2 Silvers

In results dominated by sparkling wines, mainly from the South East, Camel Valley Vineyard with a Gold and two Silvers and Langham with two Silvers, carried the flag for the South West Region. Camel Valley's Gold was for their Pinot Noir Rosé Brut 2013 and their Silvers were for their Brut 2013 and Annie's Anniversary Brut 2013. Langham Wine Estate''s Silvers were for their Classic Cuvée Brut 2011 and Blanc de Noirs 2011.

Newcomers Trevibban Mill scoop 3 awards

New, organic vineyard Trevibban Mill from near Padstow in Cornwall picked up three Commended awards for their Pinot Noir Precoce "Black Ewe Red"  and two whites, "Constantine 2014" made from Seyval Blanc and Chardonnay and "Merope 2014", made from Bacchus, Huxelrebe and Solaris.

Congratulations to all the South Wests award winners!

The International Wine Challenge

The International Wine Challenge is probably the world's largest wine competition, and perhaps the most influential. Since last year, it hosts two separate tastings in the year to accommodate different production and sales schedules across the hemispheres, giving winemakers a greater choice of when to enter their wines. Tranche 1 results were published early in December and SWVA results were reported here>>. Overall 2015 trophies for each class take the results of  both tranches into account and will be announced shortly, later in May..

Full IWC Tranche 2 Results for SWVA Members

Award Vineyard Location Wine Vintage Style

Camel Valley Cornwall Pinot Noir Rose Brut 2013 Sparkling Rosé

Camel Valley Cornwall Brut 2013 Sparkling
Camel Valley Cornwall Annie's Anniversary Brut 2013 Sparkling
Langham Wine Estate Dorset Classic Cuvée Brut 2011 Sparkling
Langham Wine Estate Dorset Blanc de Noirs 2011 Sparkling
Camel Valley Cornwall Pinot Noir Brut 2011 Sparkling Rosé
Camel Valley Cornwall Bacchus 2013 Still White
Camel Valley Cornwall Atlantic Dry 2014 Still White
Camel Valley Cornwall Darnibole Bacchus 2014

Still White

Furleigh Estate Dorset Classic Cuvée 2011 Sparkling
Three Choirs Vineyards Gloucestershire Coleridge Hill  2013 Still White
Wraxall Vineyard Somerset Somerset Sparkling 2012 Sparkling

  Astley Vineyard Worcestershire Veritas 2011 Still White
  Camel Valley Cornwall Rosé 2014 Still Rosé
  Knightor Winery Cornwall Sparkling Rosé NV Sparkling Rosé
  Knightor Winery Cornwall Portscatho Bacchus 2014 Still White
  Lily Farm Vineyard Devon Red 2013 Still Red
Oatley Vineyard Somerset Leonora's 2013 Still White
Sharpham Estate Devon Bacchus 2014 Still White
Three Choirs Vineyards Gloucestershire Rosé 2013 Still Rosé
Tintern Parva Monmouthshire Bwthyn Rhosyn 2013 Still Rosé
Tintern Parva Monmouthshire Bacchus 2013 Still White
Trevibban Mill


Black Ewe Red 2014 Still Red
Trevibban Mill Cornwall Constantine 2014 Still White
Trevibban Mill Cornwall Merope 2014 Still White
White Castle Vineyard  Monmouthshire Regent 2013 Still Red

Three SWVA Vineyards finalists in the Bristol Good Food Awards

Three Somerset vineyards have been listed as finalists in this year's Bristol Good Food Awards.

Dunleavy Vineyards of Wrington, Smith & Evans of Aller, near Langport and Wraxall Vineyard of Wraxall near Shepton Mallet are the three finalists in the Best Local Wine category. Dunleavy Vineyards were last year's winner with their Pinot Noir Rosé.

Now in its fourth year, the Awards have over 40 categories for restaurants, cafés and delis as well as food and drink producers. 

Judging for restaurants, cafés and delis will be conducted by mystery diners from the judging panel of national and local food experts through April and May. The judging for producers will be at a blind tasting event.

The results will be announced at a a Gala Awards evening in the Great Hall of Bristol Grammar School on 21st June 2015.


SWVA Showcase for the West Country's English Wines: Bristol, May 28


Showcase for the West Country's English Wines



On May 28th, for the first time ever, local wine producers from the SWVA are holding a tasting in Bristol to showcase the quality of our internationally acclaimed still and sparkling wines. We are working alongside Bordeaux Quay harbourside restaurant where the tasting and, in the evening, a themed dinner will be held to match the wines.


Food and Drink is important to the local economy and farm diversification is topical. Increasingly the South West is being recognised as a source of  some of the UK's best food and wine from small independent producers. Bristol is fast gaining a great reputation for locally sourced quality dining and sustainable wine is a new part of this. 


But small wine producers can easily get drowned out by big-budget wine companies. So this is the perfect opportunity to see what they're all about.  We aim to showcase our finest English wine producers from within easy reach of Bristol. 


We expect around 100 restaurateurs and retailers will be attending the trade tasting during the day. Any further trade representative seeking an invitation, please contact the SWVA's secretary Ingrid Bates via Twitter: @dyvineyards.


In the evening we have space for around 200 members of the public to sample the wines and there are places available for people interested in local produce and wines to enjoy a seasonal, locally sourced dinner, with local wines chosen to match the food. Producers will be present to present and discuss their wines.


You are invited to the public tasting  at 5 pm followed by a four course dinner put together to showcase Spring in the southwest, where you can meet the producers. Dinner plus tasting £50 per person. Tasting only £10 per person. Book at Bordeaux Quay, phone 0117 943 1200.


Producers attending will include:


Dunleavy Vineyards, North Somerset | Smith & Evans, Somerset | Aldwick Court Vineyard, North Somerset |Furleigh Estate, Dorset | Lovells Vineyard, Worcs | Oatley Vineyard, Somerset | Sixteen Ridges, Worcs | Three Choirs Vineyards, Glos| Wraxall Vineyard, Somerset.


Details below:






SW Winegrowers meet at Furleigh

SWVA Spring meeting and AGM Furleigh Tour


SWVA members enjoyed a break from their winter pruning in unbroken sunshine at Furleigh Estate, Salway Ash, near Bridport in Dorset on 18th March, thanks to the hospitality of Ian Edwards and Rebecca Hansford.

Alistair Nesbitt on the effect of climate on vineyard yields

Alistair Nesbitt, former Wineskills sustainability manager, presented his  recent research at the University of East Anglia on the effect of weather on English vineyard yields. He showed evidence that rising average temperatures and annual variations do show some correlation with yields, particularly in recent years when the crop has been dominated by new "Champagne" varieties which are on the edge of their viability. There is little evidence of any systematic rise or fall of rainfall or of spring frosts, so their effect on yields are a continuing fact of life for UK vinegrowers. Alistair's work is aimed at increasingly detailed analysis of average temperatures to identify in more detail places that are warm enough in England and Wales for reliable vine growing. Further work is planned on where the weather is subject lower variability at key times of the season, for example with lower spring frost susceptibility, creating the conditions for less variability of crop yield.

Tour of Furleigh Estate Vineyard and Winery

P1040336Furleigh Tour 2


Members enjoyed a sunny tour of the vineyard led by Ian Edwards, where the unusual variation of pruning style and the tractor-driven flail, being used very effectively to mulch in the prunings, attracted interest. The awesome, cathedral-like winery was the last stop before a convivial lunch followed by the AGM in the winery's tasting room. 

Fuleigh wineryFurleigh lunch



Simon Boyce of Manstree Vineyard stepped in for Sam Lindo, SWVA Chair, who had been delayed returning from the Prowein trade fair in Germany. 

This year's competition will again be held at Aldwick Court Farm, Redhill, near Bristol, with Patricia Stefanowicz MW again chairing the judging panel. The largest class, Dry Whites, will be split into three sections to ease the task of the judges. The sections will be 1a: Wines made from the Bacchus grape; 1b: Other (unoaked) Dry Whites and 1c: Oaked Dry Whites. The non-dry white classes, which have got smaller in recent years, will be combined into one. Sam Lindo has been following up the provision of medal stickers, and the SWVA plans to offer medal stickers following the 2015 competition.

Other proposed developments agreed at the AGM included a vineyard trail leaflet/webpage and an SWVA Facebook page. Guy Smith reported on the planned SWVA trade and public tasting to be held at Bordeaux Quay, on Bristol's harbourside in English Wine Week on 28th May.

There was a welcome to the Committee for Alina Stankus, who has volunteered to join the Committee, as Competition Secretary.

New SWVA Chair

Sam Lindo has been appointed national Chair of the UKVA and is stepping down from chairing the SWVA to allow him to focus on this role. The Committee agreed at its meeting after the AGM that Ian Edwards of Furleigh would take over as SWVA Chair, with Guy Smith of Smith & Evans near Langport in Somerset, as Vice-chair.  



Ian Edwards (right of photo), Furleigh Estate, new SWVA Chair, chatting to Simon and Tim Boyce, of Manstree vineyard, Devon during the vineyard tour.







 Guy Smith (left of photo) new SWVA Vice Chair, of Smith & Evans, Aller, near Langport, Somerset in a discussion of pruning.


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