2021 WineGB Midlands and North Wine Challenge – a great range of winners

Saturday 21st August saw the judging of the 2021 Midlands and North Wine Challenge at Shireoaks Village Hall near Worksop. The judging team, headed by Patricia Stefanowicz MW included David Bird MW, Julia Trustram Eve – Head of Marketing at WineGB, Ben Franks – owner of Novel Wines and wine expert John Freeland. The wines were judged under Covid-19 safe conditions which included some changes to how the wines were presented.

The challenge received a high number of entries totalling 91 wines, spread across the seven different categories and from all parts of the WineGB Midlands & North region.

As in previous years the challenge was organised by the competition team of Shelley and Darryl Gill, David and Jayne Bates with able assistance from Geoff Card. It was a busy day in the back room with the team delivering a smooth service to the judges.

Member’s day on Sunday 22nd August saw the unveiling of the top winners in each category – see the full results below. The Wine of the Year 2021 was Halfpenny Green English Rosé 2020.

Patricia Stefanowicz gave the judges assessment of the wines tasted the previous day: “Our day of judging was a delight. The competition is deservedly popular. There were 91 entries, across all classes.

“We are very pleased with the continual improvement in the wines of WineGB Midlands and North, echoing the progress of viticulturists and winemakers throughout WineGB. Results were very positive with over 40% being awarded gold and silver medals and a fantastic number of bronzes.

Dry white wines performed consistently well with wines from the most recent year 2020 and wines from previous years garnering high scores from the judges. There were lovely wines from Bacchus and Solaris, particularly, but other varieties and blends also work well.

Medium dry whites also seemed consistent with the wines showing very good balance between weight, racy acidity and sweetness. These, together with dry white wines, are what many consumers think of as ‘English and Welsh wine’-delicate, fresh, floral, just like an English garden after a brief summer rain.

The rosé class was consistent and delicious, demonstrating the validity of this category of wine. Producers should continue to produce these dry-to-off-dry styles, which are eminently drinkable. The colours, varying from pale peach or pink to medium deep cherry, formed a visual delight. Judges thought that colour doesn’t really matter, as long as some pink tone is evident and consistent with the style of the wine.

The reds were a bit of a pleasant surprise. Whether Pinot Noir or other varieties or blends, the wines seemed genuine and delicious. Oak, when used, appeared a ‘seasoning’ rather than dominant, and complimented the wines.

On to the sparklings…what a glorious way to spend an afternoon! The white sparklings, mostly in a ‘Brut’ style, were generally very, very good with lovely mousse texture, appropriate levels of autolysis and nicely balanced acidity and dosage. Interesting to note that there were excellent wines from the classic varieties of

Champagne and from other, more aromatic, varieties. Rosé sparklings, increasingly popular, were also a very good category, showing a beautiful range of colours and lovely red fruits with a kiss of fresh yeast.

Our two sweet wines were both very appealing, albeit at opposite ends of the over 45g/l reducing sugar spectrum: one a delicate, almost spätlese, style and the other a richer (and much sweeter) golden-coloured botrytised wine.”

Liz Robson from Rothley Wine Estate announced on additional trophy: the Regional Personality of the year, won by Joyce Boulos-Hanna from New Lodge Vineyard.

Trophy Winners 2021:
TrophyWine of the Year (Attingham)Halfpenny Green English Rosé 2020Rosé
TrophyWinemaker of the Year (Leventhorpe)Ben Hunt, Halfpenny Green
TrophyGrower / Winemaker (Millington Trophy)Bridget & Simon White, Ovens Farm Vineyard
TrophyRose (Welland Valley)Halfpenny Green English Rosé 2020Rosé
TrophyRed (Heart of England)Bearley Vineyard, Bard's Red 2019Red
TrophyDry White (Renishaw Trophy)Halfpenny Green, Bacchus 2019Dry White
TrophyMedium Dry (Wroxeter Trophy)Littlewold Vineyard Barley Hill White 2020Medium Dry
TrophySweet Wine (Severn Valley)Claylands, Ortega Botyritis 2019Sweet
TrophyNorthern (Richardson)Ovens Farm Vineyard, Sparkling Brut Rosé 2018
TrophyMidlands (EMDA)Claylands Ortega, Botyritis 2019
TrophyBest New Vintage (Tanners)Halfpenny Green, English Rosé 2020
TrophyBest Older Vintage (Vine House)Claylands, Ortega Botyritis 2019
TrophyPink Sparkling (MVA Coaster)Ovens Farm Vineyard, Sparkling Brut RoséSparkling Rosé
TrophySparklingWelland Valley, Steeplechase 2017Sparkling White
TrophySmall Producer (Morville Trophy)Darryl Gill, Claylands
Medal Winners 2021:
SilverHalfpenny Green VineyardEnglish Rosé 2020Rosé
SilverScaddows VineyardAbbey Rose 2019Rosé
SilverScaddows VineyardAbbey Rose 2018Rosé
SilverScaddows VineyardSweet Rose 2019Rosé
BronzeRothley Wine EstateJane The Quene NVRosé
BronzeBearley VineyardRosé 2018Rosé
BronzeWelland ValleyHunting Pink 2020Rosé
BronzeClaylandsPink 2019Rosé
BronzeRothley Wine EstateBattle Royal 2018Rosé
BronzeFleur Fields VineyardFleur Fields Rosé 2019Rosé
BronzeYorkshire HeartLatimer Rose 2019Rosé
GoldClaylandsOrtega Botrytis 2019Sweet
SilverHalfpenny Green VineyardLate Harvest 2018Sweet
SilverBearley VineyardBard's Red 2019Red
SilverNew Lodge VineyardEarls Baron 'Regency Red' 2018Red
SilverNew Lodge VineyardEarls Baron 'Regency' 2019 SRed
SilverFleur Fields VineyardFleur Fields Saxon Red 2018Red
SilverSpring Cottage 2019Beacon View 2018Red
SilverHope Valley VineyardCarrhead Rondo 2019Red
SilverOvens Farm VineyardRondo 2019Red
BronzeClaylandsRed 2019Red
BronzeYorkshire HeartLatimer Red 2019Red
BronzeRothley Wine EstateValiant 2019Red
BronzeClaylandsRondo 2018Red
BronzeSpring Cottage 2020Beacon Red 2019Red
BronzeNew Lodge Vineyard Earls Baron 'Red Baron' 2018 BRed
BronzeHalfpenny Green VineyardPenny Red 2019Red
BronzeOvens Farm VineyardPinot Noir Précoce 2019Red
BronzeYorkshire HeartWinemakers Choice Red 2018Red
BronzeRothley Wine EstateCabernet Cortis 2018Red
Highly CommendedLaurel VinesRondo Red 2020Red
Highly CommendedEglantine VineyardEglantine Red 2019Red
Highly CommendedYorkshire Heart EEleanor Red 2019Red
SilverLittle Wold VineyardBarley Hill White 2020Medium Dry White
BronzeBearley VineyardAvon Swan 2018Medium Dry White
BronzeWelland ValleyPhoenix 2020Medium Dry White
BronzeNew Lodge VineyardEarls Baron 'Saxon' 2019Medium Dry White
SilverHalfpenny Green VineyardBacchus 2019Dry White
SilverOvens Farm VineyardSolaris 2018Dry White
SilverFleur Fields VineyardFeurfields English Regional PGI 2019Dry White
SilverRothley Wine EstateKing Richard 2020Dry White
SilverClaylandsSiegerebe No1 2019Dry White
SilverLaurel VinesOrtega 2019Dry White
SilverLittle Wold VineyardChalk Hill White 2020Dry White
SilverOvens Farm VineyardSolaris 2020 SilDry White
SilverNew Lodge VineyardEarls Baron 'Solaris' 2019Dry White
SilverVernon LodgeVernon Lodge Madeleine Angevine 2019Dry White
SilverHope Valley VineyardCarrhead 2019Dry White
SilverOvens Farm VineyardBacchus 2020Dry White
SilverScaddows Vineyard Solaris 2019 SilverSolaris 2019Dry White
SilverRothley Wine EstateKing Richard 2019Dry White
BronzeBearley VineyardAvon Fields 2018Dry White
BronzeYorkshire HeartLatimer White 2019Dry White
BronzeOvens Farm VineyardSolaris 2019Dry White
BronzeWelland ValleyPhoenix 2019Dry White
BronzeWelland ValleyBacchus 2019Dry White
BronzeLaurel VinesMadeleine Angevine 2019Dry White
BronzeLaurel VinesMadeleine Angevine 2020Dry White
BronzeOvens Farm VineyardBacchus 2019Dry White
BronzeClaylandsPinot 2019Dry White
BronzeRothley Wine EstateGundog 2019Dry White
BronzeClaylandsWhite 2020Dry White
BronzeEglantine VineyardEglantine White 2019Dry White
BronzeHalfpenny Green VineyardLong Acre 2020Dry White
BronzeLaurel VinesOrtega 2020Dry White
BronzeYorkshire HeartEleanor White 2019Dry White
BronzeYorkshire HeartWinemakers Choice White 2018Dry White
BronzeRothley Wine EstateGundog 2020Dry White
Highly CommendedRothley Wine EstateEnigma 2019Dry White
SilverWelland ValleySteeplechase 2017Sparkling White
SilverBearley VineyardBrut Sparkling 2018Sparkling White
SilverFleur Fields VineyardFleur Fields Champs D'Amour 2015Sparkling White
SilverAmber Valley Vineyard Lindway Brook 2018 SilverFleur Fields Champs D'Amour 2015Sparkling White
SilverHalfpenny Green VineyardBrut Sparkling 2018Sparkling White
SilverNew Lodge VineyardEarls Baron 'Nene Valley Nectar' 2016Sparkling White
BronzeNew Lodge VineyardEarls Baron 'Nene Valley Nectar' 2017Sparkling White
BronzeYorkshire Heart VineyardSparkling White Wine 2019Sparkling White
BronzeEglantine VineyardEglantine Sparkling NVSparkling White
BronzeHalfpenny Green VineyardClassic Cuvée 2014Sparkling White
SilverOvens Farn VineyardSparkling Brut Rosé 2018Sparkling Rosé
SilverHalpenny Green VineyardRosé Sparkling 2019Sparkling Rosé
SilverFleur Fields VineyardChamps D'Amour Rosé 2015Sparkling Rosé
SilverWelland Valley VineyardTickled Pink 2017Sparkling Rosé
SilverLittlewold VineyardAlice's Cuvée 2019Sparkling Rosé
BronzeRothley Wine EstateSpirit of Freedom NVSparkling Rosé
BronzeOvens Farm VineyardSparkling Blush 2019Sparkling Rosé
BronzeYorkshire Heart VineyardSparkling wine RoseSparkling Rosé
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