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Still white wine sparkles in UK competition

All the recent buzz surrounding the UK’s wines has been about the quality of our home-grown sparklers, but now a still white wine has taken the top prize in this year’s English & Welsh Wine of the Year Competition.

Three Choirs Vineyards won the Wine of the Year trophy for its 2006 Estate Reserve Siegerrebe. Siegerrebe is an aromatic variety which can produce outstanding wines when grown on the right site. The man behind the wine, Martin Fowke, was also named Winemaker of the Year.

Last year’s highest award-winner Camel Valley scooped the Best Sparkling Wine trophy with its ‘Cornwall’ White Pinot 2005. The producer also won golds for its ‘Cornwall’ Pinot Noir Rosé 2005 as well as its 2006 Bacchus, which is another white aromatic variety that produces a successsful style in the UK.

Meanwhile, Nyetimber’s newly released 2001 vintage wines both took gold medals as did RidgeView ‘s 2005 Merret Bloomsbury and Merret Cavendish. Other gold recipients were Denbies Wine Estate for its Rose Hill 2007 rosé, Warden Abbey Vineyard for its Bacchus 2006 and Eglantine Vineyard for its late-harvest sweet North Star 2004 dessert wine.

The Best Red Wine was again awarded to a Pinot Noir. This was Titchfield Vineyards’ 2006, which got a silver.

The competition was judged by a seven-strong team of Masters of Wine, chaired by Patricia Stefanowicz MW. She said, ‘Professionalism and quality in grape-growing and winemaking has shone through, and the range of different producers now winning top awards shows just how good the standards are. This is a serious competition.’

In total 11 golds, 46 silvers and 74 bronzes were awarded, more than in the previous two years. All the results can be found at English & Welsh Wine of the Year Results.