East Anglia: Vineyards hoping for bumper crop as East Anglian Vineyards’ Association awards take place

Fiona Alper and Glen Mejias of Chilford Hall Vineyard with the Founders' Trophy for Best Red Wine 20

Fiona Alper and Glen Mejias of Chilford Hall Vineyard with the Founders' Trophy for Best Red Wine 2013. (Chilford Hall is in Linton on the Suffolk/Cambs border) - Credit: Archant

East Anglia’s vineyards were hoping for a bumper crop as they celebrated the region’s best wines at an awards event this week. New Hall Vineyards at Purleigh, near Maldon, scooped the East Anglia Wine of the Year title at the East Anglian Vineyards’ Association awards at Chilford Hall, Linton. Centre director Glen Mejias said the past few years had been tough for growers. But he added: “If this weather continues we are looking at harvesting a bumper crop.”

Guy Howard (EAVA Chairman and Giffords Hall Vineyard), Darryl Kemp (New Hall Vineyards) and Anthony

Guy Howard (EAVA Chairman and Giffords Hall Vineyard), Darryl Kemp (New Hall Vineyards) and Anthony Foster MW for the East Anglian Wine of the Year 2013, New Hall Bacchus Reserve 2011. - Credit: Archant

Twelve out of the 55 vineyards based in East Anglia entered the awards, held on Wednesday. A total of 38 wines were judged by the panel of experts, including: Anthony Foster MW, Robin Crameri MW, Mary Mudd, Chris Grimes, Richard Dudley Craig and Neil Bull.

The results were: The Berwick Trophy for the best white wine from the previous year -

New Hall Huxelrebe 2012 (Essex); The Cooper Trophy for the best white wine from another year - New Hall Bacchus Reserve 2011 (Essex); The Spear Trophy for the best sparkling wine -

Lavenham Brook Sparkling 2011 (Suffolk); The Founder’s Trophy for the best red wine

Chilford Granta Valley Red 2011 (Cambridgeshire); The Cants Rose Trophy for the best rosé wine - Humbleyard Rosé 2012 (Norfolk); East Anglian Wine of the Year 2013 - New Hall Bacchus Reserve 2011 (Essex)

New Hall Vineyard in Essex scooped East Anglian Wine of the Year along with 10 medals and four commendations.

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West Street Vineyard in Coggeshall, Essex has recently opened an English Wine Centre and received a commendation for its 2012 white wine.

The East Anglian Vineyards’ Association (EAVA) currently has 55 vineyard members. It was founded in the mid 1970s by the late owner of Chilford Hall, Sam Alper OBE. East Anglian wines have won five out of the 12 national competition trophies this year.

EAVA committee chairman, Guy Howard, said: “For such a challenging growing year it was a wonderful surprise to see so many excellent wines put forward into the competition and simply serves to reinforce our belief that East Anglia’s climate and geography are particularly well suited to viticulture. Congratulations to our trophy winners, in particular the newcomers. We hope to see even more newly planted vineyards entering the competition next year”

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