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FIRST RELEASE OF FORTIFIED WINE [PORT STYLE]

Sunday 10 December 2017 by WHITE CASTLE
White_Castle_Vineyard_13White_Castle_Vineyard_03

PRESS RELEASE                                                                        8th DECEMBER 2017

 

VINEYARD HOPES 1581 IS A GOOD YEAR FOR FIRST WELSH FORTIFIED WINE

This weekend 9th & 10th December sees the launch of Wales first fortified wine – ‘1581’ - by award-winning Monmouthshire vineyard White Castle.

The result of four years of planning by White Castle’s owners Robb and Nicola Merchant, the new alcoholic drink is similar in style to Port.

The grapes are harvested and aged in the same way as Port and the result is a drink with an abv (alcohol by volume) of 19%.

Says Robb “Since we’ve had the vineyard it has always been a dream of ours to create a Welsh fortified wine. To make it you have to have a quality grape and were just waiting for the right harvest and volume to be able to do it.”

Adds Robb, who is also chairman of the Welsh Vineyards Association, “The quantity of grapes harvested in 2014 allowed us to put aside a 225-litre barrel of Regent wine with which to make our Welsh fortified wine. The result is drink that is light in texture, very fruity, and reflects what we do at White Castle.”

Available as a limited edition, a barrel has now been put away after each harvest and stored at the Three Choirs winery in Newent, which produces White Castle’s wines.

1581 joins White Castle’s range  of red, white, rose, and sparkling wine which since the vineyard’s first harvest in 2011 have reaped numerous national wine awards.

The new beverage has close links to the area’s heritage and takes its name - 1581 – from a grade II* listed Tudor barn at the vineyard, which is situated in the village of Llanvetherine near Abergavenny and Monmouth.

Its future once in doubt, Robb and Nicola worked with local building preservation charity - The Village Alive Trust, to save the building and with funding from Cadw and the Heritage Lottery Fund the Croft Barn has been restored.

The barn is now used for a variety of events including, open days and weddings, and for talks and courses about viticulture (the science of grapes and their culture).

Says Robb, “It is a wonderful building, and it is an integral part of our vineyard, so it was natural that we took the date of its construction for the name of our Welsh fortified wine. It has been an important building in the locality for centuries, and was featured by Lord Raglan in his book on ancient buildings in Monmouthshire.”

White Castle has been helped with  its ventures by Cywain – a project which supports the development of new markets for growth orientated businesses in the agri-food sector.

Says Robb, “Cywain have been with us since we began, they have helped us in a variety of ways including branding. It is very much a two-way relationship and they have been fantastic.”

Says Cywain Development Manager, Rolant Tomos, "It’s been a privilege to see how White Castle have developed and the business grown in recent years. Launching 1581 will be another great leap for the business as it expands its product offering.”

 



Welsh Wine Competition 2017

Tuesday 14 November 2017 by WHITE CASTLE
roguesgallery

WELSH VINEYARDS CELEBRATE GROWING SUCCESS

The growing success of Wales as a wine producing country was celebrated at the Welsh
Vineyards Association’s (WVA) annual wine competition.

Held at Llanerch Vineyard at Hensol in the Vale of Glamorgan, the competition
saw over 50 wines entered by nine vineyards ranging from north to south
Wales. 

Split into five classes, 21 wines were awarded Bronze, doubling last year’s
achievement. Five gained Silver and this year, 3 wines were awarded Gold.  The best wine in each class also received a
trophy: Whjte - White Castle Vineyard’s ‘Siegerrebe  GOLD’; Rosé - Llaethliw Vineyard BRONZE; Red
– White Castle’s Rondo BRONZE; Sparkling – Tintern Parva Vineyard’s ‘Dathlu’
GOLD ; Sparkling Rosé -  Llanerch GOLD,  with the 'The Thomas Davies Memorial Trophy'
also being given to Llanerch Vineyard’s ‘Cariad Blush’ as overall Wine of the
Competition.

The expert judging panel was comprised of Linda Johnson-Bell: wine
judge, author, and founder of The Wine and Climate Change Institute; Sue
Tolson: wine educator, judge and editor of the popular website, WineSofa.eu and
Dylan Rowlands: Welsh radio and TV personality, co-author and owner of the wine
merchant’s Gwin Dylanwad Wine.

The climax of the competition was the awards dinner, which was televised on S4C
and attended by the event’s sponsors and David Morris, the Welsh Government’s
Food and Drink representative.

WVA Chairman, Robb Merchant said: “Welsh wine-making has increased 70% over the
last decade as production soars to more than 100,000 bottles a year. The
interest in Welsh Wines is growing as the quality improves. The awards are
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 worked hard to raise the profile of Welsh Wines.”

 2017 Award winners were as follows:

Bronze

Llanerch, Cariad Dry   2013   

White Castle, Gwin Gwyn 2016     

Tintern Parva, Bacchanlia 2016         

Pant Du, Gwin gwyn    2016    

Llanerch, Cariad Dry White 2015       

Montgomery, Solaris 2016

Conwy, Pydew 2016

Sugarloaf, Calon Lan   2016

Lleathliw, White  2016

Tintern Parva, Afon Gwy 2015

Llanerch, Cariad Medium Dry 2013

Llanerch, Cariad Rosé  2015

Lleathliw, Rosé  2016

Tntern Parva, Bwthyn Rhosyn 2015

Lleathliw, Red 2015

Tntern Parva, Ty Coch 2016

Pant Du, Gwin Coch    2016

White Castle, Rondo   2015 

Conwy, Pefriog 2015

Tntern Parva, Dathliad Rosé  2010

Llanerch, Cariad  Blush 2014

Silver

Tintern Parva,  Baccus  2015

Conwy, Solaris 2016

Llanerch, Cariad Medium Dry 2016

Llanerch, Cariad White 2012  

Glyndwr Rose  2015

Gold

White Castle, Siegerrebe  2016

Tintern Parva, Dathliad 2013

Llanerch, Cariad Blush 2011


 



Welsh Wine Competition 2017

Sunday 22 October 2017 by WHITE CASTLE
Trophies  WVA 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


October 18, 2017




2017 WELSH WINE AWARDS – 7th November


with Lesley Griffiths AM, Cabinet Secretary for Environment
and Rural Affairs

Vale of Glamorgan – This year’s Welsh Vineyard
Association’s annual awards will again be held at Llanerch Vineyard in the Vale of Glamorgan, with Special
Guest, Lesley Griffiths AM, Cabinet Secretary for
Environment and Rural Affairs. The AM will be accompanied by Dorian Davies, the
new Food and Drink representative.

Welsh wine-making has increased 70
per cent over the past decade as production soars to more than 100,000 bottles
a year. (Welsh Wine is the Toast of Bordeaux, The Telegraph, May 2016).

 “The interest in Welsh
Wines is growing as the quality improves and production is set to double by
2020.” – Robb
Merchant, WVA Chairman.

The expert judging panel is
comprised of Linda Johnson-Bell, wine judge, author, and founder of The Wine and Climate Change Institute, Sue Tolson, wine
educator, judge and editor of the popular website, WineSofa.eu, and Dylan Rowlands, Welsh radio and
TV personality, co-author and owner of the award-winning wine merchant and bar,
Dylanwad. They will be tasting over
40 wines from 10 vineyards.

This year’s event will
have the added addition of a TRADE & PRESS tasting (14.00 – 16.00).

For more information about
the Awards, the TRADE & PRESS tasting or the Welsh Vineyards Association, please
contact Robb Merchant at 01873 821 443 or at info@whitecastlevineyard.com.
 



AGM 2017

Wednesday 12 April 2017 by WHITE CASTLE
agm2017

The Welsh Vineyard Association held their AGM 2017 at the home of Andrew & Fiona Mounsey they are planting a new vineyard on 4th May and will be known as Velfry Wines, Clare & Gilbert Viader were also welcomed in to the association as new members they have taken over the former Wernddu vineyard which will now be know as Pen-y-Clawdd Vineyard.

following the were presentations from Alice Lampard Agrisgop, Norma Barry Food and Drink Wales - Welsh Wine Ambassador & Susie Abson Welsh Government Food and Drink. 

 



Welsh Wine Competition 2016

Thursday 13 October 2016 by WHITE CASTLE
Trophies  WVA 2016



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 WINES

Bronze

White Castle Gwin Gwyn 2015

Llaethliw White 2015

Conwy Solaris 2015

Tintern Parva Afon Gwyn 2014

Silver

Tintern Parva Bacchus 2014

Kerry Vale Solaris 2014  ( winner of the Halfpenny Green Salver)
 

ROSÉ

 Bronze

Conwy Rosé 2015

Llaethliw Rosé 2015

Silver

Tintern Parva Bwthyn Rhosyn 2015   ( winner of the Three Choirs Salver)

 
RED

Bronze

Kerry Vale Red Kite 2014

Conwy Rondo 2014

White Castle Rondo 2014

Silver

White Castle Pinot Noir Précoce 2014   (winner of the Three Choirs Salver)

 

SPARKLING WHITE

Bronze

Ancre Hill Blanc de Blancs 2009

Silver


Tintern Parva Dathliad 2013   (winner of the Smarts Salver)

 
WINE OF THE COMPETITION

Kerry Vale Solaris 2014   (winner of 'The Thomas Davies Memorial Trophy')

 

 



UPDATE

Monday 27 June 2016 by WHITE CASTLE
White Castle Regent 2014

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

Thank you

We are delighted that our Regent 2014 was awarded a Bronze medal at this years EWWOTY.

 



English and Welsh Wine of The Year 2016

Monday 27 June 2016 by WHITE CASTLE
Judging deciding on the top Welsh wine

PRESS RELEASE

27th June 2016

 

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 medals.

 

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 Stefanowicz MW.

 

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 Meon Vineyard. 

 

The different style categories of wines and volumes produced are acknowledged in the13 Trophies that are also awarded.

 

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 Sussex

 

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.

“The 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.”

 

There 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 Year Trophy

 

The results in full will shortly be available on www.englishwineproducers.com and www.ukva.org.uk.

 

 

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors:

The 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.

 

The 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 standards. 

 

The 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 member producers

 

Interviews with the organisers or the Chairman of Judges can be arranged. Please contact Jo Cowderoy, United Kingdom Vineyards Association, tel: 07904 011331 or email jo@ukva.org.uk, or Julia Trustram Eve, English Wine Producers, tel: 01536 772264 or email julia@englishwineproducers.com

 

A copy of the full results can be emailed – please contact julia@englishwineproducers.com

 

 

The following trophies were awarded:

 

Jack Ward Memorial Salver - The most outstanding large production wine – 2015 vintage

Winbirri Bacchus 2015

 

Wine Guild Trophy - The most outstanding large production wine – any other year

Furleigh Bacchus Fumé 2014

 

President's Trophy - The most outstanding small production wine (<1500 litres)

Langham Wine Estate Classic Cuvée Reserve 2011

 

Dudley Quirk Memorial Trophy - The most outstanding large production wine (>10,000 litres)

Camel Valley Bacchus Dry 2015

 

Vintners’ Trophy - The most outstanding sparkling wine

Langham Wine Estate Classic Cuvée Reserve 2011

 

Bernard Theobald Trophy - The most outstanding red wine

Gusbourne Pinot Noir 2014

 

McNie Trophy - The most outstanding oaked white wine

Furleigh Bacchus Fumé 2014

 

Tom Day Trophy - The most outstanding single varietal wine

Winbirri Bacchus 2015

 

Waitrose Rosé Trophy - The most outstanding still rosé wine

Oxney Organic Estate English Pinot Noir Rosé 2015

 

Bob Lindo Trophy - The most outstanding sparkling rosé wine

Hattingley Valley Rosé 2013

 

Berwick Trophy - The most outstanding large production unchaptalised still wine

Winbirri Bacchus 2015

 

Stefanowicz Trophy – The most outstanding sweet wine

Denbies Noble Harvest 2014

 

Welsh Wine of the Year Trophy The most outstanding Welsh Wine

Parva Farm Vineyard Dathliad 2013

 

Montagu Trophy - Best presented wine

Fenny Castle Barrel Fermented Ortega 2015

 

 



Wine & Cheese pairing

Monday 09 May 2016 by WHITE CASTLE
IMG_2043

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 info@whitecastlevineyard.com or tel: 01873 821443

 



Welsh wine week at White Castle Vineyard

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 on www.whitecastlevineyard.com & Wineandheritage.org.uk

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.

 




Welsh Vineyard Association 2016

Friday 29 April 2016 by WHITE CASTLE
conwy2

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.