- One of the highest ever number of entries, with 11 newcomers
- Good year for Blanc de Noirs, Classic Cuvee sparklings and still Chardonnay and Bacchus
- 48% of the medals awarded for sparkling wines, 52% for still wine
- Almost every county in England and Wales represented
The medal winners of the annual WineGB Awards are announced today with producers from almost every county in England and Wales being awarded medals. This year saw a record number of entries, with well over 100 producers entering, 11 of these for the first time.
Of the medals awarded, 139 (48%) went to sparkling, and 152 (52%) showing that the number and quality of still wines being produced in the UK continues to grow.
Co-Chair of the Judges Susie Barrie MW says: “We were absolutely thrilled with the quality of the whole range of wines that we tasted this year. There were some fabulous wines in both still and sparkling style categories, which shows just how exciting and dynamic the UK now is as a wine region. What’s terrific is that the wins come from both the largest producers and some of the smallest, and from long established to newcomers. We’ve also awarded medals to wines from every region in the country, showing the scope of styles and grape varieties. Huge congratulations to all the medal winners!”
The Innovation Category featured many different styles, demonstrating the dynamism of the sector. Three Choirs Vineyard in Gloucestershire was awarded Gold for its newly launched Amber (orange) wine , with two medals being awarded to newcomers and first time entrants Ark Wines in Suffolk for a wine made using the Ripasso method (drying grapes to concentrate the sugars) and an unfiltered and unfined Bacchus. Medals were awarded to a Col Fondo wine (which translates from Italian to “with the bottom,” meaning that sediment or lees are present) from Vagabond Wines in London.
All the gold medal winning sparkling wines were from classic varieties (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier), with both large and small wineries being successful. Notable successes among smaller producers include Cobble Hill in Norfolk (a 3.6ha vineyard near Burnham Market); London Cru – an urban winery in Fulham, London and Artelium, a newcomer to the English wine scene in Sussex.
Chardonnay triumphed in the still wine category, with Chardonnay scooping 4 of the 9 Gold medals Pinot Noir also showed well with 17 medals, 2 of them Gold. In Wales 2 Gold medals were awarded for Chardonnay and one for Pinot Noir. Bacchus also took 2 gold medals and earned the highest proportion of medals overall with 24% of all the medals awarded in the still wine category. The two Gold medals for Bacchus went to one of the largest producers, Chapel Down in Kent, and one of the smallest, Lily Farm Vineyard in Devon.,
Sussex and Kent dominated the medal tables with 61 and 60 medals respectively; other notable county wins were Hampshire (19 medals) Devon (15), Gloucestershire (15), Somerset (10), Cornwall (9), Surrey (9), Greater London (9), Norfolk (9), Dorset (8), Suffolk and Essex (8).
Simon Thorpe MW, CEO of WineGB said: “This has been another great year for results across all the categories of still and sparkling wines, once again demonstrating what an exciting industry this is. I cannot emphasise enough how lucky we are in the judges we have every year for our competition; not only are they highly skilled wine professionals but each have been chosen for their knowledge of our category, so we know that all the wines have been judged and assessed fairly. They are led of course by the indefatigable Susie Barrie MW and Oz Clarke OBE who bring experience, passion and a global context to the whole judging process.”
The Trophy winners will be announced at the WineGB Awards ceremony on 15th July in London.
The WineGB Awards is the national competition for the English and Welsh wine industry. Organised and run by WineGB, the aim and purpose of the Awards is to send out a powerful message of the quality, consistency and variety of our wines.
The judging process:
Judging normally takes about four days. All the wines are tasted blind and in style category flights. The wines are tasted in judges’ groups for the first two days. If a group of judges are undecided about any wine, those wines are reviewed by the Co-Chairs. All the Gold medals are then retasted blind on day 3 to select trophies. The trophy winners are then tasted again to select the Top Still and Top Sparkling and from those the Supreme Champion.
The Judges in the WineGB Awards 2022:
Susie Barrie MW – Co-Chair
Oz Clarke OBE – Co-chair
Rebecca Palmer – Wine Buyer, Corney & Barrow
Hamish Anderson, CEO, Tate Eats
Helen McGinn – Wine writer and broadcaster
Luke Harbour – Head sommelier, The Pig Hotel Group
Alice Lascelles – Wine Writer, FT HTSI
Aleesha Hansel – Wine Writer, Presenter