Winners of the prestigious WineGB Awards were announced at the end of June (Friday 24 June) with Sussex wineries picking up an incredible 61 medals, writes Nick Mosley
English wine is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the drinks world with most major supermarkets and pretty much every quality independent vintner in the country now stocking home-grown and produced sparkling and still wines.
Recognising the importance of Sussex as the leading wine producing county in the UK, over a quarter of the available medals at the annual WineGB Awards were awarded to local producers.
The judging panel included well-respected luminaries from the wine world, including Saturday Morning Kitchen’s Helen McGinn and co-chairs Oz Clarke and master of wine Susie Barrie. The wines were all blind-tasted meaning the judges didn’t know which wineries the has produced them.
“We were absolutely thrilled with the quality of the whole range of wines that we tasted this year”, said Susie Barrie. “There were some fabulous wines in both still and sparkling style categories, which shows just how exciting and dynamic the UK now is as a wine region”.
“What’s terrific is that the wins come from both the largest producers and some of the smallest, and from long established to newcomers. We’ve also awarded medals to wines from every region in the country, showing the scope of styles and grape varieties”.
Digby Fine English wines from Arundel took three gold medals for their non-vintage traditional method Brut sparkling, 2013 vintage Reserve Brut and 2014 vintage Rosé Brut which can be found in Waitrose, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Fortnum & Mason.
Other Sussex-based gold winners included relative newcomer Artelium, Ashling Park Estate, Nutbourne Vineyards and Sugrue South Downs. Wiston Estate near Pulborough took home medals for their Blanc de Noirs 2014 and Estate Cuvée 2017.
“We’re incredibly proud to have our wines recognised in this arena, amongst our peers”, said Tori Eeles of Wiston Estate. “It means a huge amount to the vineyard and winemaking teams here, having these medals to celebrate their hard work”.
“It’s also a great testament to what Sussex is capable of. We hope the positive results continue to build momentum for our wine reputation and Sussex is recognised as a serious contender in premium wine production – on a global stage”.
The WineGB Awards is the national competition for the English and Welsh wine industry. Organised and run by WineGB, the aim and purpose of the awards is to send out a powerful message of the quality, consistency and variety of wines grown and produced in the UK.
Following the announcement of the medal winners this week, WineBG will be hosting an awards ceremony to announce champion of champion trophy winners in London on 15 July.