With more than 1 million readers globally, a growing number of whom are in the UK and Europe,
The Real Review and the Top Wineries of Australia and New Zealand have become annual benchmarks for the movers and shakers in wine down under. Today The Real Review has taken the Top Wineries initiative to the exciting, growing wine industry in the United Kingdom.
In an industry in which the yardstick has to be Champagne, whose story spans more than three centuries, English sparkling wine only adopted the Champagne grapes for the first time when Stuart and Sandy Moss decided to reject England’s Germanic grape varieties back in 1988 and plant chardonnay, pinot noir and meunier at Nyetimber instead. Today Nyetimber is The Real Review Winery of the Year Great Britain 2021.
Yet measured against the history, the traditions and the global brand image of Champagne, the English sparkling wine industry has made huge strides and is coming of age. The varied characteristics of the regions are becoming better known and the application of experience and expertise in the vineyard and cellar is bringing greater complexity and variety of style with each passing year.
In the middle of the year, The Real Review invited England’s wineries to submit their wines for blind tasting for a chance to be one of the Top Wineries of Great Britain 2021. The wines didn’t have to be sparkling, although the vast majority were. In this endeavour, The Real Review was delighted to have the support of WineGB, which helped ensure a good representation of wineries. It’s fair to say that all the major producers accepted the gauntlet thrown down to them with relish.
The Real Review’s London-based wine writer and sparkling wine expert, Anthony Rose, who is also the former wine correspondent of The Independent and a founding member of the Wine Gang, blind tasted and reviewed all wine samples submitted.
The Real Review published the tasting notes, collated the scores awarded and generated the
Top Wineries list algorithmically. In the final analysis, many wineries expected to do well have done so. At the same time, there are some welcome surprises with some of the less-well-known names showing that they deserve to be better known.
The Real Review was founded in late 2016 by leading wine writers Huon Hooke (Australia), Bob Campbell ONZM MW (New Zealand) and Sydney-based wine technology company Corkscore. The tasting team reviews around 10,000 wines per year, focussing on Australia and New Zealand, with international contributors in Italy and England. Since its launch, The Real Review has grown its digital platform to more than 1 million users p.a., making it the wine media organisation with the largest reach in Australia and New Zealand.