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      May 2011 > English wines just get better and better

English wines just get better and better

Solaris grapes on the vine, Rydedales Vineyards, Yorkshire UKNext week sees the start of English Wine Week 2011 (28 May-5 June) – the perfect excuse (if you needed one) to celebrate an English rosé wine winning Gold at the annual International Wine Challenge.

There were 367 entries from all over the world in the still rosé category but it was Denbies Chalk Ridge Rosé 2010 (from near Dorking in Surrey) that was awarded gold.

It was not the only English success, however, as Chapel Down from Kent also gained a Gold for its sparkling Rosé Vintage Reserve Brut – produced from 100% Pinot Noir. 

Harvest time, Ryedales Vineyards, Yorkshire UK
You may not know this but there are currently over 400 vineyards in England and Wales (according to the Wine Standards Register) and production figures for the 2010 harvest were the highest on record – over 4 million bottles – due to 75% more land under viticulture since 2004.

To celebrate ‘English Wine Week’ this year, many vineyards are staging special events around the country – so why not have a look at what’s on and sample some wonderful English wine? We’re lucky to have a very successful vineyard (the largest in the north of England) within a few miles of our offices here in North Yorkshire.

Ryedales Vineyards Yorkshire UKRyedale Vineyards at Farfield Farm is located in the rolling countryside between the villages of Westow and Leavening - the most northerly commercial vineyard in England - not far from York. With ten acres under cultivation at the moment, owners Stuart and Elizabeth Smith are currently growing a range of modern disease-resistant varieties, including Rondo and Solaris, with batches of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Bacchus also under trail. They produce red, white and rose wines and their wines have won several national awards over recent years. They will be launching a sparkling wine in early 2012.

Stuart tells me that this is looking like a good year for the Pinot Noir/Chardonnay vines as the spring has been so warm. "They are well in advance of other years," he says, "and so they should have a long growing season to ripen up." To mark English Wine Week, you can visit Ryedale Vineyards on a number of vineyard tours and specialist tastings of Yorkshire wines. I think I might just have to go along and investigate…
Ryedales Vineyards, Yorkshire UK

[All images courtesy of Stuart and Elizabeth Smith, Ryedale Vineyards, Westow, Yorkshire]

Posted: 19/05/2011 14:13:14 by | with 1 comments
Filed under: competitions, gastronomy, UK

Steve Jack
I helped out during last year's harvest at Ryedale Vineyard and it was a very enjoyable & interesting experience (nice wine, too!)
20/05/2011 15:23:40

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