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Vineyard owners ‘chuffed to bits’ at international accolade

PUBLISHED: 09:03 04 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:03 04 September 2020

From left, Valley Farm Vineyard co-owners Vanessa Tucker and Elaine Heeler with their silver award  Picture: TAMAR BURTON & FRIENDS

From left, Valley Farm Vineyard co-owners Vanessa Tucker and Elaine Heeler with their silver award Picture: TAMAR BURTON & FRIENDS

Tamar Burton and friends

Suffolk vineyard owners are toasting success at an international awards event.

Valley Farm Vineyards' silver award  Picture: VALLEY FARM VINEYARDSValley Farm Vineyards' silver award Picture: VALLEY FARM VINEYARDS

Valley Farm Vineyards, based at Wissett, near Halesworth, scooped a silver medal for its English sparkling Sundancer 2015 wine at the International Wines and Spirits

Competition (IWSC).

Owners Vanessa Tucker and Elaine Heeler expressed delight at their first international win. In 2016, they struck gold at a national level for one of their wines – but this time went one better with an international silver.

The pair bought the already mature vineyard seven years ago and renovated it.

Valley Farm Vineyards in Wissett, which has scooped an internatiional silver award for one of its wines  Picture: VALLEY FARM VINEYARDSValley Farm Vineyards in Wissett, which has scooped an internatiional silver award for one of its wines Picture: VALLEY FARM VINEYARDS

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“We’re really delighted to have been awarded a silver medal for our beautiful English Sparkling Wine ‘Sundancer’ 2015,” said Vanessa.

“It’s the only silver medal awarded in East Anglia, and the only sparkling award.

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“This was judged by Master of Wine Dirceu Vianna Junior and his team of distinguished wine experts. As a top scorer, it was then retested by the judging committee to ensure consistency across nations.”

Valley Farm Vineyards in Wissett, which has scooped an internatiional silver award for one of its wines  Picture: VALLEY FARM VINEYARDSValley Farm Vineyards in Wissett, which has scooped an internatiional silver award for one of its wines Picture: VALLEY FARM VINEYARDS

The competition is based on blind tasting, she said, with the Valley Farm wine scoring 90 points out of a possible 100. To earn a silver, it has to be judged ‘an accomplished wine with considerable personality. A classic example of its’ style or variety”.

Judges’ tasting notes identified “hints of tropical fruit on the nose, which is full of fruit and mineralogy. On the palate, ripe citrus fruits balance nicely with the nutty character of the autolysis. Consistent and very pleasant”.

The wine is made with a classic sparkling combination of the vineyard’s Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Gris all grown on the south facing slope and cared for by the owners and their band of volunteers, said Vanessa.

“We applaud our wine makers at Knightor for their skill in making the grapes shine to their full glory,” she said.

“This represents the culmination of so much hard work in the field by the whole team and I’m chuffed to bits.”

Elaine added: “What a great day. We’ve long thought that this is a fabulous bubbly, able to hold its own in this high quality wine sector.”


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