East Anglian vineyards strike silver at top awards as more varieties come to the fore
- Credit: Ellie Howard
East Anglian vineyards are toasting a sparkling performance at a prestigious national awards event.
Growers from the region came away from the Wine GB 2021 awards clutching silver and bronze medals for their wines.
Among the top performers were Giffords Hall at Hartest near Bury St Edmunds and Tuffon Hall, Halstead.
The judging panel at the event — which was held at Ashling Park Wine Estate in Sussex — was chaired by Master of Wine (MW) Susie Barrie and TV wine expert Oz Clarke.
There was a record number of entries at more than 300 and first-time entrants from all over England and Wales, said organisers.
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A total of 37 gold medals, 107 silver and 131 bronze were awarded with seven sparkling and three still classes receiving trophies.
Giffords struck silver for its Classic Cuvée 2018 and St Edmundsbury 2019 and Tuffon for its Pinot Noir Rosé 2020.
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Norfolk vineyard Burn Valley Vineyard of North Creake, also won silver for its Rosé 2020 and Pinot Blanc 2020 and Cobble Hill Vineyard, Burnham Market, for its Bacchus 2020.
There were bronze awards too for Shotley Vineyard (Bacchus 2020), Toppesfield (Bacchus Reserve 2020 and Pinot Rosé 2020), Chet Valley Vineyard in Bergh Apton (Skylark 2019), Burn Valley Vineyard (Solaris 2020, Pinot Blanc Reserve 2020 and Marsh White 2020) and Giffords.
Ms Barrie said: “2021 has been a great year for the WineGB Awards and undoubtedly our best yet. These awards shine a light on the very best still and sparkling wines the UK has to offer and it’s wonderful to bear witness to an industry that is now consistently producing wines that really are world-class. Not only that, the range and variety of wines just keeps on getting better.”
Chairwoman of Wine GB East Anglia Laura Robinson said: “We are pleased to see East Anglian wines winning medals in the national competition — especially encouraging is the first time entrants doing so well.
“Our area is well known for award winning Bacchus wines but there are many other less well known varieties. Members of the public will be surprised how many vineyards there are now in the East, do search them out and go visit.”
Winning East Anglian vineyard owners expressed their delight.
Angus Crowther of Tuffon Hall said: “While we knew we would never get the same haul of medals as last year, we are delighted that our rosé continues to please the judges and especially our customers. In winning a national silver medal, it still shows our ability to consistently produce rosés of the highest quality, that are even better than those from Provence.”
Craig Mills of Shotley Vineyard said: “Charlotte and I are delighted to be awarded a bronze, as this is only our second vintage and our first year entering the Wine GB awards.
“Since buying our site and establishing the brand Shotley Vineyard in 2017 the focus has been on regenerating the vines to allow us to focus on making award winning wines.
“Lots to celebrate over the coming days, with the birth of our second child Edie, the launch of our first sparkling and our 10 year wedding anniversary.”
Linda Howard of Giffords Hall vineyard said: “The St Edmundsbury in particular is pleasing as it is rare to get a medal for an English red.”