Thursday 13 October 2016 by WHITE CASTLE
WELSH VINEYARDS CELEBRATE HOME GROWN SUCCESS
Thegrowing success of Wales as a wine producing country was celebrated at theWelsh Vineyards Association’s (WVA) annual wine competition.
Held atLlanerch Vineyard at Hensol in the Vale of Glamorgan, the competition saw 42 wines entered by nine vineyards ranging
from north to south Wales.
Split into five classes ten Bronze and five Silver awards were made, with the best wine in each class also receiving a trophy. Kerry Vale Solaris 2014 was named as overall Wine of the Competition and received the 'The Thomas Davies Memorial Trophy'.
The expert judging panel were: Linda Johnson-Bell wine critic, author and climate change analyst; Michael Harrison international wine judge and Bibendum Fine Wine manager; and David Cowderoy winemaker and owner of Bevtec.
This year saw a change in format with the WVA’s first trade and press wine tasting session, giving them an opportunity to meet some of individual vineyard owners and taste their wines.
The climax of the competition was the awards dinner – which was televised on S4C - and attended by the event’s sponsors and representatives from the Welsh Government’s Food Division.
Said WVA Chairman, Robb Merchant, “The interest in Welsh Wines is growing as the quality improves, presently Welsh vineyards produce around a 100,000 bottles a year and this is set to double by 2020. The awards this year have been judged to international standards and
those vineyards who have won awards can very proud of their achievement. I would also like to thank the sponsors and organising team who have work hard to raise the profile of Welsh Wines.”
The award winners were as follows:
White Castle Gwin Gwyn 2015
Llaethliw White 2015
Conwy Solaris 2015
Tintern Parva Afon Gwyn 2014
Tintern Parva Bacchus 2014
Kerry Vale Solaris 2014 ( winner of the Halfpenny Green Salver)
Conwy Rosé 2015
Llaethliw Rosé 2015
Tintern Parva Bwthyn Rhosyn 2015 ( winner of the Three Choirs Salver)
Kerry Vale Red Kite 2014
Conwy Rondo 2014
White Castle Rondo 2014
White Castle Pinot Noir Précoce 2014 (winner of the Three Choirs Salver)
Ancre Hill Blanc de Blancs 2009
Tintern Parva Dathliad 2013 (winner of the Smarts Salver)
WINE OF THE COMPETITION
Kerry Vale Solaris 2014 (winner of 'The Thomas Davies Memorial Trophy')
Monday 27 June 2016 by WHITE CASTLE
At White Castle
vineyard the year has gathered pace.
April saw Robb
Merchant elected as chairman of the Welsh vineyards association.
May saw the profile of Wine Trail Wales
& Welsh wine producers raised as we showcased Welsh wines at the Celtic
Manor Resort Newport.
Welsh wine week yet
again proved a great success with our renowned Welsh cheeses & Welsh wine
pairing, we also had the opening of our kitchen facility at the cellar door,
June We were delighted to export our
2014 Gwin Gwyn (white wine) to a wine centre in Bordeaux, France.
We also had the opportunity as
part of the Welsh PFN Group (protected food names) to showcase our quality
Welsh wines at Fortnum & Mason, London.
For those who joined
us mid-June we held a successful viticulture day discussing pests &
diseases in the vineyard with Chris Cooper.
For the first time
the English & Welsh wine of the year competition 2016 was hosted in Wales.
As a Welsh vineyard
we welcomed all participating vineyards to Wales.
Robb had his first
experience behind the organisation of EWOTTY and very interesting was his
reply. As the host country he was supported by fellow vineyard owners and the
Welsh government and gave his appreciation to Llanerch vineyard for being such
good hosts and the success it was. Diolch ny fawr
We are delighted that our Regent 2014 was
awarded a Bronze medal at this years EWWOTY.
Monday 27 June 2016 by WHITE CASTLE
STILL WINES DOMINATE
IN UK WINE INDUSTRY’S NATIONAL COMPETITION
The industry's annual national wine
awards - The English & Welsh Wine of
the Year Competition – have delivered some of the best ever numbers of
Despite the marginally lower number
of entrants compared to last year – reflecting the slightly lower production in
2015 – the number of Gold medals was nearly 60% up and the highest over the
last 5 years of the competition.
Nonetheless, the competition has seen a progressive growth in entrants
over the years, this year attracting 305 wines from 94 producers from across
England and Wales.
258 medals were awarded across the style categories, representing nearly
85% of all entries,
which included 32 Gold, 121 Silver and 105 Bronze medals. Overall,
still wines dominated the entries and medal gains, with 216 still white,
rosé and red wines entered, gaining just over 70% of all the medals. 87 sparkling wines were entered, representing just under
30% of the medals.
Organised and run by the United Kingdom Vineyards Association (UKVA)
and for a second year sponsored by Waitrose,
the Competition is an opportunity for producers of all sizes and from across England
and Wales to compete against each other.
This year’s entrants included some of the UK’s largest producers to
smaller and first-time producers. The wines were judged over two days at Llanerch
Vineyard near Cardiff by a team of five
Masters of Wine and marked to international professional standards. Chaired by David Bird MW, the panel also
comprised: Robin Crameri MW, Rebecca Hull MW, Angela Muir MW and Patricia
The Gold medals alone reflected the
diversity of size and style now produced in England as well as a wide geographic
spread. Successes this year included a
still white from one of England’s most northerly vineyards, Leventhorpe
Vineyard, and a sparkling wine from a one acre vineyard in Hampshire – East
The different style categories of
wines and volumes produced are acknowledged in the13 Trophies that are also
Once again it is wines produced from
the UK’s top three most widely planted grape varieties – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
and Bacchus – that dominated the trophies awarded, with Bacchus a clear winner.
Three trophies were awarded to a 2015 Bacchus from Norfolk’s Winbirri Vineyard, which scooped the Trophy
for Most Outstanding Large Production Wine from 2015 vintage, Most Outstanding
Single Variety Wine and Most
Outstanding Unchaptalised Wine.
Further Bacchus success was won by Furleigh Estate in Dorset whose 2014 Bacchus Fumé won Most Outstanding Oaked White Wine and Most Outstanding Large Production Wine (Any year other than 2015). Additionally, Camel Valley Bacchus Dry
2015 won the Most Outstanding Large
Production Wine (over 10,000 litres).
The Most Outstanding Sparkling Wine Trophy was won by Dorset sparkling
wine producer Langham Wine Estate, further
continuing its competition success, having won the same trophy last year with another
wine from its stable. The Most Outstanding Sparkling Rosé Wine
Trophy was won by Hattingley Valley
in Hampshire. Both wines are produced
with the three traditional Champagne varieties.
Pinot Noir was
also a proven winner in the still wine stakes, with Kent’s Gusbourne Estate Pinot Noir 2014 taking the Most Outstanding Red Wine, with the Most Outstanding Still Rosé Wine trophy going to first time producer Oxney Organic Estate from
Sweet wines also have their own
trophy - Most Outstanding Sweet Wine
– which this year was won by Denbies
Wine Estate Noble Harvest 2014, continuing the outstanding success of
earlier vintages of this wine in a number of competitions.
A Best Presented Trophy is awarded to a bottle for its overall
presentation – this year the winner is Fenny
Castle Barrel Fermented Ortega 2015.
This year, to mark the
competition judging having taken place in Wales, a Welsh Wine of the Year Trophy has been sponsored by the Welsh
Government. The winner of this award is Parva Farm Vineyard Dathliad 2013, a
sparkling wine from Tintern in South Wales.
David Bird MW, Chair of Judges,
and a long standing member of the judging team, commented on how impressed he
was by the standard of entries. “This
year the competition went very smoothly, despite the large number of wines. The
team of judges worked extremely well.
They all taste internationally and apply international standards.
high level of medals achieved is a measure of the high standard that winemaking
in the UK has reached. The joy of the competition this year is that we were
struggling not to award golds everywhere!”
Commenting on the competition,
Barry Lewis, CEO of UKVA said: “This year’s high number of entrants
into the competition reflects a growing confidence within the industry. I'm
delighted with the results and pleased that the judges noted the overall
consistency of quality. I'd like to thank the Welsh Vineyard Association and
Llanerch Vineyard, for being amazing hosts.”
are three remaining trophies yet to be unveiled and will be announced at the
industry’s annual awards lunch, taking place on 12th July at
Vintners’ Hall: the prestigious Winemaker
of the Year (The McAlpine Trophy) and the Wine of the Year Trophy (The Gore-Browne Trophy) together with the English Wine Producers Communicator of the
The results in full will shortly be
available on www.englishwineproducers.com and www.ukva.org.uk.
Notes to Editors:
English & Welsh Wine of the Year Competition is organised by the United
Kingdom Vineyards Association, and this year took place at Llanerch Vineyard, hosted
by the Welsh Vineyards Association. Each
year the competition is hosted by a different vineyard region of the UK.
English & Welsh Wine of the Year Competition is the only competition in the
world judged entirely and only ever by Masters of Wine, bringing with them
their wealth of experience, expertise and tasting to international
EWP Communicator of the Year Trophy recognises the contribution to the UK wine
industry that is made by so many and is presented to an individual or business
outside the wine industry that has, through their work, raised awareness in the
industry and its wines. Nominations for this award are submitted by members of
the industry and the winner is selected by a panel of English Wine Producers
with the organisers or the Chairman of Judges can be arranged. Please contact
Jo Cowderoy, United Kingdom Vineyards Association, tel: 07904 011331 or email email@example.com, or Julia Trustram Eve,
English Wine Producers, tel: 01536 772264 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
copy of the full results can be emailed – please contact email@example.com
The following trophies were
Jack Ward Memorial Salver - The
most outstanding large production wine – 2015 vintage
Wine Guild Trophy - The
most outstanding large production wine – any other year
Bacchus Fumé 2014
President's Trophy - The
most outstanding small production wine (<1500 litres)
Wine Estate Classic Cuvée Reserve 2011
Dudley Quirk Memorial Trophy - The most outstanding large production wine (>10,000
Valley Bacchus Dry 2015
Vintners’ Trophy - The
most outstanding sparkling wine
Wine Estate Classic Cuvée Reserve 2011
Bernard Theobald Trophy - The most outstanding red wine
Pinot Noir 2014
McNie Trophy - The
most outstanding oaked white wine
Bacchus Fumé 2014
Tom Day Trophy - The
most outstanding single varietal wine
Waitrose Rosé Trophy - The
most outstanding still rosé wine
Organic Estate English Pinot Noir Rosé 2015
Bob Lindo Trophy - The
most outstanding sparkling rosé wine
Valley Rosé 2013
Berwick Trophy - The
most outstanding large production unchaptalised still wine
Stefanowicz Trophy – The most outstanding
Noble Harvest 2014
Welsh Wine of the Year Trophy – The most outstanding Welsh Wine
Parva Farm Vineyard Dathliad 2013
Montagu Trophy - Best
Castle Barrel Fermented Ortega 2015
Monday 09 May 2016 by WHITE CASTLE
Saturday 28th May 2016 @ 6.30 pm at the vineyard
Let's Celebrate Welsh Wine Week 2016 with "A Cheese & Wine Pairing"
Five White Castle Vineyard Wines paired with Five Welsh cheeses.
Wine & Cheese are two of life's great culinary pleasures and finding the perfect
match can be a delicious endeavour...
Perfect evening for those with a love and passion for wine.
Cost: £18.50 per person. Booking advisable.
Contact the vineyard direct on firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 01873 821443
Monday 09 May 2016 by WHITE CASTLE
With Welsh wine week
on the horizon its full steam ahead to tie up the exciting new project and
facility soon to be available at White Castle Vineyard.
Robb and Nicola have
decided to extend their hospitality at the vineyard with Welsh cheese platters
served Friday to Sunday and bank holidays.
Welsh wine week is
perfect to experience a Welsh vineyard and award winning Welsh wine and of
course a Welsh cheese platter. During Welsh wine week the vineyard will be open
daily from Sat 28th May - Sunday 5th June 10 till 5
All Events are listed
For those people who
are unable to visit the vineyard there is an opportunity to taste White Castle
Welsh wines at The Crafty Devil Cellar Bar, Llandaff Rd Cardiff, take this
opportunity to meet the passionate people behind the vineyard as they celebrate
Welsh wine week in the Welsh capital.
White Castle vineyard
has a fine array of award winning Welsh wine and the latest new release is
vintage 2014 Pinot Noir Précoce, it gives a fabulous complex bouquet of dark
red berries with layers of mineral nuances. Juicy lush generous and complex on
the palate with generous oak and ripe, fine tannins.
Perfect with Welsh
lamb, beef and venison.
Vintage 2014 Gwin
gwyn ( white wine) is a dry delicate white wine with floral aromas of
elderflower and ripe citrus fruits on the palate.
Perfect with Cheese,
pasta, chicken and fish.
A warm welcome awaits
new and returning visitors to White Castle vineyard.
Friday 29 April 2016 by WHITE CASTLE
The Welsh Vineyard Association held their 2016 AGM at Gwinllan Conwy owned by Colin & Charlotte Bennett. This was the first visit to North Wales for the WVA and attendance was good with 8 vineyards being represented also attending was the recently appointed UKVA CEO Barry Lewis who spoke about his new role the challenges he faces and the work that is presently being undertaken to improve and build the profile of the UKVA, Welsh & English wines.
Richard Morris of Ancre Hill Vineyard stepped down from the role as chairman of the WVA following his 3 year term of office, the newly elected chairman is Robb Merchant of White Castle Vineyard. Richard was thanked for the work he has done over the past 3 years, he will continue to be a key member of the committee. Colin Bennett of Gwinllan Conwy will take up the role of Secretary.
As the year moves forward June will see the WVA hosting the English & Welsh wine of the Year competition 2016, then in September they will hold the Welsh Wine competition both events being held at Llanerch Vineyard.
Monday 11 April 2016 by WHITE CASTLE
Mid Season Vineyard Skills: Vineyard Pest and Diseases.
Tuesday 21 June 2016. 09.30 – 16.00hr
Tutor: Chris Cooper. Location: Croft Barn. White Castle Vineyard.
Llanvetherine, Abergavenny. NP7 8RA
£70 per person, light lunch included – Booking essential
Monday 11 April 2016 by WHITE CASTLE
A key date for your diary Welsh Vineyards will be celebrating Welsh Wines for the week commencing 28th May - 5th June 2016
Wednesday 23 September 2015 by GUEST
The Welsh vineyard association held their 2015 competition on Monday 21st September, Jabajak Vineyard & Restaurant with rooms were the kind hosts for the day. the Wines were judged by Roger Jones The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, Deiniol Ap Dafydd from Blas ar Fwyd and Neil Cammies wine and food writer for the Western Mail
There were 41 wines entered into three categories, the award winning wines are listed below.
Class 1- Still White
and Still Rose
Llanerch Cariad Medium Dry White 2013 GOLD
Tintern Parva Bacchus 2013 GOLD
Ancre Hill Chardonnay 2013 GOLD
Lliathllew Orian / Regent Rose 2014 HIGH
Llanerch Cariad Dry White 2013 SILVER
Jabajak, The Whitehouse 2014 SILVER
White Castle Rose 2013 SILVER
Ancre Hill Rose 2013 SILVER
Pant Du Gwyn Rhosliw 2012 SILVER
Tintern Parva Bwthyn Rose 2013 SILVER
Tintern Parva Afon Gwy 2013 HIGH
Lliathllew Solaris White 2014 BRONZE
White Castle Gwin Gwyn 2013 BRONZE
Tintern Parva Bacchus 2014 BRONZE
Pant Du Gwin Gwyn 2014
Sugarloaf Blush 2014 BRONZE
Whitecastle Gwin Gwyn 2014
Tintern Parva Afon Gwy 2014
Class 2- Red Wine
Ancre Hill Pinot Noir 2013 SILVER
Pant Du Gwin Coch
Denarii 2013 BRONZE
Class 3- Sparkling
White and Sparkling Rose
Ancre Hill Barrel Fermented 2009 GOLD
Ancre Hill Pinot Noir/ Seyval Blanc 2008 HIGH SILVER
Tintern Parva Diathliad 2013 SILVER
Llanerch Cariad Sparkling Brut 2012 SILVER
Tintern Parva Diathliad Rose 2013 BRONZE
Monday 25 May 2015 by Parva Farm
Rhesymau dros fod yn llawen*
THREE WELSH VINEYARDS have something special to celebrate in the run up to this year's Welsh Wine Week - Sat. 23rd May until Sun. 31st. May. The results of the International Wine Challenge competition 2015 have been announced and commended awards were given to Ancre Hill Estates (Monmouth) Blanc de Noirs 2010 sparkling, White Castle Vineyard’s (Llanvetherine) Regent 2013 red & Parva Farm Vineyard's (Tintern) Bwthyn Rhosyn 2013 rose & Bacchus 2013 dry white thus proving that excellent wines of all types can be produced in Wales.
Vineyards are flourishing in Wales. From Monmouthshire to Glamorgan in the South and Anglesey to Gwynedd in the North, more and more acres of vines are being planted.
One such new planting is that of Charlotte and Colin Bennett who, in 2012, planted a quarter of an acre of vines on the south side of Pydew Mountain, overlooking the Conwy Valley with the stunning backdrop of the Snowdonia National Park. This year they have extended the vineyard by an acre. They enlisted the help of volunteers (with the promise of food and wine at the end), to plant several hundred Rondo, Phoenix and Solaris vines on Bank Holiday Monday! The job was done & the workers rewarded! They have plans for more plantings next year.
During Welsh Wine Week, Charlotte and Colin will be showing visitors their vineyard & explaining their plans for the future.
As well as being successful in competitions, Welsh wines are now being served in the House of Lords and in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London (White Castle's Phoenix). Parva Farm Vineyard made the news recently when their Tintern Parva Bacchus 2013 became the first ever Welsh wine to be sold in Marks & Spencers. It can be found in all their Welsh stores and in some of the English ones too. A M&S spokesperson said: “We hope it will demonstrate to customers the wide range of U.K. regions now producing top quality wines”.
One of only two bio-dynamic vineyards in Britain, Ancre Hill Estates at Rockfield, Monmouth will be celebrating the opening of their new winery in July, ready for this year's harvest. This will be Wales' first large scale winery and has been built to be ecologically friendly with hay-bale walls and a sedum roof. Ancre Hill specialise in sparkling wines with large plantings of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes.
Ancre Hill Estates at Monmouth will be open every day during Welsh Wine Week from 10.30am until 4.30pm. They will be giving vineyard tours (with a viewing of their state of the art, new winery) at 11.30am and 3.00pm. Free wine tastings will be available & it will be the official launch of their 2013 wines.
White Castle Vineyard is holding some special events for Welsh Wine Week:-
• Sat. 23rd May “Wonderful Welsh Wine Adventure” organised by www.foodadventure.co.uk
• Wed. 27th May White Castle wines paired with Welsh cheeses- start 19.00-contact the vineyard for details. email@example.com
• Sat. 30th May Tasting of White Castle wines at Carpaninis, Frogmore St., Abergavenny 12.00-14.00
During Welsh Wine Week, Parva Farm Vineyard at Tintern, near Chepstow will be offering free self-guided vineyard tours, free wine tastings & the chance to speak to the owners about growing vines in Wales. There will be special offers on some of their wines. They will be open every day from 11.30am until 5.00pm.
Most of the Welsh Vineyards Association member vineyards will be open to the public during Welsh Wine Week to promote their Welsh wines. For details see the website www.winetrailwales.co.uk
*Reasons to be cheerful
The second issue of ukvine magazine sees Victor Keegan's adventures in Welsh Wine. Out July 1.