• Record number of entries
• Sparkling dominates top medals, but still wine successes are on the increase
• 245 medals were awarded, of which 34 Gold, 98 Silver and 113 Bronze
• Virtual Awards Ceremony to be held on 8th September
The results of the 2020 WineGB Awards are announced today.
The judging took place last month in exceptional conditions with the judging panel comprising Co-Chairs Susie Barrie MW and Oz Clarke MBE, and Rebecca Palmer, wine buyer of Corney & Barrow, tasting through a record number of wines.
The results show that Sparkling Wine remains the dominant category in Gold and Silver Medals, but still wines successes are on the increase. When it comes to grape varieties, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Bacchus dominate the still wine category featuring in all the Gold Medal winning still wines, with Chardonnay being the most popular grape variety for Britain’s Traditional Method Sparkling wines – which gained more gold medals than other sparkling styles. Still red wines, notably, achieved their highest ever scores with two Gold Medals, 15 Silvers and nine Bronzes awarded, and these were dominated by Pinot Noir.
Susie Barrie comments: “This year of all years it has been a competition to remember. We cannot overlook the extraordinary circumstances in which we judged and I’d like to thank every single person involved in ensuring the week ran smoothly.
“We three judges tasted some fantastic wines from a large number of producers and from right across the country. There are some very strong winners, both sparkling and still wines, in all categories. It was particularly pleasing to see new producers competing alongside long-established ones, proving that the UK is an ever-growing and hugely exciting region to watch. Congratulations to every single medal winner, you can feel very proud of what you have achieved.”
Co-Chair Oz Clarke adds: “For once Susie and I had the chance to taste every wine. It made such a difference to our understanding of what is happening north to south, east to west. I feel I have learned so much about our exciting and vibrant Great British Wine world from this week of judging. It was very hard work, but to everyone – thank you very much.”
Fifteen producers entered for the first time, some new to the market, with several Gold Medals being awarded among them.
27 counties from across Great Britain were represented, with Sussex dominating the medal table with 48, closely followed by Kent with 45 medals. The Wessex region (Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire) gained 30 medals. Notably, four urban wineries (three in London and one in Tyne & Wear) achieved seven medals between them.
The judging schedule was modified in accordance with strict COVID-19 protocols, with the three judges tasting through all 281 wines over the five-day competition, which was held at Ashling Park Estate who kindly donated the venue.
Belinda Mercer, Competition Manager comments: “This has been a truly extraordinary year for the WineGB Awards. From COVID-19 risk assessments, PPE equipment, sneeze screens, a reduced panel of three amazing and totally dedicated judges , a logistics team who were so professional and such a pleasure to work with, to our hosts, Ashling Park Estate, who provided us with the most glorious venue and incredible hospitality, the 2020 competition is one that will be etched on our memories for ever”.
The competition results also show some new and alternative winemaking styles including oak-aged Bacchus and one ‘stop ferment’ wine illustrating the ever-growing scope and variety of production in the industry. Winemaker Peter Hall at Breaky Bottom in Sussex proved yet again that not all classic method sparkling wines need be from classic varieties, with two of his non-classic cuvées scooping Gold medals. One sparkling wine made from Merlot was awarded a Gold.
The Trophy winners including the crowning of the Supreme Champion will be announced at a special filmed Virtual Ceremony on Tuesday 8th September at midday, with awards being presented by Susie Barrie and Oz Clarke, with Peter Richards MW as Master of Ceremonies.
WineGB has decided against holding its Trade & Press Tasting on 8th September in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and government restrictions. A series of virtual events will take place instead on the same date, including a Virtual Press Conference and an online masterclass for trade and press.
The full set of medals will be available on the WineGB website from noon: https://www.winegb.co.uk/gb-wine-awards/. A full list of the awards is available <HERE>
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