English and Welsh wine praised globally

English and Welsh wine producers have won four gold medals at this year's prestigious International Wine Challenge (IWC) and Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA).

The wins mark the rising popularity of UK wine, production of which more than doubled last year with more than three million bottles produced (Grower, 7 May).

The four gold medals were shared among three producers - Cornwall's Camel Valley and Sussex's Nyetimber and Ridgeview vineyard. Along with the wins gained in last month's International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC), the gold medals make up a total of 120 awards given to English and Welsh producers.

English Wine Producers marketing manager Julia Trustram Eve said: "It's just great to see the recognition that English and Welsh wines have gained through this year's awards. Competition is tough and to be recognised by the highly professional groups of judges at this international level certainly shows that our wines are world class."

Two of the gold medals were awarded in the IWC to Nyetimber's Blanc de Blancs 2001 and Camel Valley Noir Rose Brut 2008. This was a second successive year as a gold medal winner for Camel Valley and a first major win in this competition for Nyetimber.

The two other gold medals were won in DWWA by Ridgeview Wine Estate for its Knightsbridge Blanc de Noirs 2006 and Grosvenor Blanc de Blancs 2006, which also took the regional trophy.

Bob Lindo of Camel Valley told Grower that British winemakers should continue to focus on quality and not quantity as they bask in their newfound success.

He said: "There's been a lot of upgrading of wineries with a lot of people investing in their businesses thoroughly. This is normally the case in emerging wine regions - they tend to start off really well but there's a danger of over-producing.

"People need to keep their feet on the ground at the moment. There's a lot of unsellable wine in the world so we need to keep in mind that the aim is the best quality and maintaining the best standards."

The UK also doubled the number of silver medal winners in this year's DWWA - while the IWSC saw three times as many silver medals awarded this year than last.

- The industry's national promotional campaign English Wine Week started on 29 May and continues until 6 June.


English and Welsh wines will soon face scrutiny in the UK's own national awards, the English & Welsh Wine of the Year Competition, in mid June.

This is the only competition in the world where the judges are all masters of wine. The results will be announced at the end of June.

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