Welsh Vine Trail

Welsh Wine Competition 2016

Thursday 13 October 2016
Trophies  WVA 2016


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)


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




Monday 27 June 2016
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
Judging deciding on the top Welsh wine


27th June 2016




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.





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

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 Vineyard Association 2016

Friday 29 April 2016

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

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  www.wineandheritage.org.uk


Welsh Vineyard Association wine competition 2015

Wednesday 23 September 2015

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 SILVER

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 BRONZE  

Lliathllew Solaris White 2014 BRONZE  

White Castle Gwin Gwyn 2013 BRONZE 

Tintern Parva Bacchus 2014 BRONZE

Pant Du Gwin Gwyn 2014   BRONZE

Sugarloaf Blush 2014 BRONZE

Whitecastle Gwin Gwyn 2014   COMMENDED 

Tintern Parva Afon Gwy 2014   COMMENDED


Class 2- Red Wine

Ancre Hill Pinot Noir 2013 SILVER 

Pant Du Gwin Coch 2014  BRONZE

Kerryvale Red 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  


Reasons to be cheerful

Monday 25 May 2015

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. info@whitecastlevineyard.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.



Thursday 21 May 2015

We are open every day from 10.30am to 4.30pm. during Welsh Wine Week.


Vineyard tours take place twice daily at 11.30am and 3.00pm and this is an opportunity

to tour Ancre Hill's new state of the art Winery - one of the World's unique wineries built from straw bales.


Welsh Wine Week is also the official launch of Ancre Hill Estates' 2013 still wines - two stunning reds, a Pinot Noir and Triomphe,

a delicious Burgundy style Chardonnay and a refreshing Rose.  During Welsh Wine Week we are offering free wine tastings and a

10% discount on a mixed case of wine


We also offer Welsh Cheese Platter lunches served with a glass of Estate wine between 12pm & 2pm.


A visit to our award winning biodynamic Vineyard is a must during Welsh Wine Week!


Ancre Hill Vineyard, Rockfield Road, Monmouth NP25 5HS

www.ancrehillestates.co.uk | 01600 714152"


Let's Celebrate Welsh Wine Week 2015

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Let's Celebrate Welsh Wine Week 2015

Join us on a "Wonderful Welsh Wine Adventure" Saturday 23rd May.

Details: www.foodadventure.co.uk