The International Wine Challenge has announced the winners of its 2021 competition, with the medal results showing how the UK wine map is evolving. While the south of England remains Britain’s wine heartland, medal-winning wines are now being produced throughout the nation, extending out from the established south. Medals were awarded to wines in Staffordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire and Derbyshire as well as Conwy, Powys and Monmouthshire in Wales.
With such a strong medal haul, Great Britain has once again ranked in 8th position worldwide for Gold Medals. Wines from 21 counties across England and Wales were awarded medals including 12 Gold, 48 Silver, 58 Bronze and 18 Commended.
Shropshire winery, Hencote, took this year’s only Gold medal for an English still wine, awarded to a red wine – Mark I 2018, made from a blend of Pinot Noir, Précoce and Rondo grapes. In particular, there was a notable boost for Staffordshire, which received six medals this year, including one Silver, two Bronze and three Commended, compared with only one Commended award last year.
Kent led the medal wins for English wines with 30 medals, three of which were Gold and also took home the English Sparkling Trophy with The Squerryes Partnership Squerryes Blanc de Blancs 2014, which also won the English Sparkling Blanc de Blancs Trophy. The English Sparkling Classic Blend Trophy was awarded to Squerryes Brut 2011.
In Hampshire three Gold medals went to Hattingley Valley, Raimes English Sparkling Wine and Grange Estate Wines. The latter was also awarded the English Non-Vintage Sparkling Rosé Trophy for The Grange Hampshire Pink NV.
Roebuck Estates and Artelium in Sussex, Greyfriars Vineyard and High Clandon Estate Vineyard in Surrey and Camel Valley in Cornwall were also recipients of Gold medals. Roebuck Estates also received the English Vintage Sparkling Rosé Trophy for its Rosé de Noirs 2016.
Oz Clarke, one of the six co-chairs for the International Wine Challenge and author of ‘English Wine’ commented: ‘Over the past few decades, it’s been incredible to witness the progress Great Britain has been making on the world stage for its wine, especially the sparkling wines from southern England. What’s really exciting to see now however, is the quality of wines we are tasting from other regions in the UK and the diverse styles being produced there.’