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English wine comes of age at the UK’s wine ‘BAFTAs’

Published:  18 July, 2022

English and Welsh wine appears to have entered a new era of maturity, as ‘newcomers’ to the scene continue to rake in accolades alongside more established names.

A number of well-known producers polished their stars at the annual Wine GB’s Awards ceremony on Friday, which took place at London’s Drapers’ Hall.

Organisers noted however that several newcomers have now made it into the awards’ ‘Hall of Fame’, with a new roster of rising stars now increasingly joining the pantheon of Britain’s great winemakers.

Susie Barrie MW, co-chair of the awards said: “It’s been another thrilling year in the WineGB Awards. A highlight for me this year was seeing up and coming wineries winning the top gongs alongside more established producers. That said, every medal counts in this competition and a wine has to genuinely impress us in order to win an award, whether that’s bronze, silver, gold or a trophy.”

Some of the newer faces at the table include Sussex-based Artelium, which took home both the Newcomer and Supreme Champion titles. A ‘new star on the scene’, the winery scooped an impressive four trophies: the Newcomer Trophy, along with the Best Blanc de Blancs and Top Sparkling of 2022. It was also crowned Supreme Champion of the Wine GB Awards 2022 for its Blanc de Blancs 2015.

This year’s awards also put Kent firmly on the vinous map for its various triumphs in single varietal categories. Gusbourne and Balfour, both located within the county, shared the trophy for Best Red Pinot Noir, with Gusbourne also taking the trophy for Best Chardonnay and Top Still Wine. Kent’s Chapel Down also received the Best Bacchus Trophy for their Kit’s Coty Bacchus 2019 – the third successive year for this trophy win. Additionally, Gusbourne celebrated a second successive year as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay Trophy winner.

The awards have become the benchmark for the English and Welsh wine industry over the past several years. The competition is organised and run by WineGB, with judging taking place over approximately four days.

WineGB CEO Simon Thorpe MW made reference to the evolution of the industry and the awards: “As a previous champion in our WineGB Awards has said – these are the BAFTAS of the UK wine industry and we are so proud of all that this competition stands for.”

Oz Clarke OBE, co-chair, also made reference to the “level of maturity” in the UK’s winemaking.

If this is “judged by [an] ability to deal with a really difficult vintage and come out of it with wines that are tagged by the struggles of the year, yet are gorgeously, mouth-wateringly individual because of it – then Britain has reached that level in double quick time,” he said.

WineGB’s Trophy winning wines will be showcased on a Tasting Table at the Annual Trade & Press Tasting on Tuesday 6 September at Lindley Hall. To register your interest, click here

More results available:

Regional Stars

Covering the seven wine regions in Britain, the top scoring producer from each is awarded a trophy which are as follows:

Best East Anglia Cobble Hill

Best Midlands & North Dunesforde Vineyard

Best South East Artelium

Best Thames & Chilterns Harrow & Hope

Best Wales White Castle Vineyard

Best Wessex Exton Park Vineyard

List of Trophy Winners

Trophy, Best Chardonnay and Top Still Gusbourne Chardonnay Guinevere Barrel Selection 2020

Best Boutique Producer The Grange CLASSIC NV

Joint Trophy, Best Red Pinot Noir Balfour Winery Gatehouse 2020

Joint Trophy, Best Red Pinot Noir Gusbourne Pinot Noir 2020

Trophy Classic Cuvée NV Harrow & Hope Brut Reserve No6 NV

Trophy, Best Prestige Cuvée Exton Park Vineyard Cuvée M Isaac Blanc de Blanc 2011

Trophy, Best Bacchus Chapel Down Kit’s Coty Bacchus 2019

Trophy, Best Blanc de Noirs Wiston Estate Blanc de Noirs 2014

Trophy, Best Classic Cuvée Vintage Digby Fine English 2013 Vintage Reserve Brut

Trophy, Best Innovative Still Three Choirs Vineyards Siegerrebe Amber Wine 2021

Trophy, Best Sparkling Rosé Ashling Park Estate Ashling Park Rosé NV

Trophy, Newcomer, Trophy Blanc de Blancs, Top Sparkling, Supreme Champion Artelium Blanc de Blancs 2015