UK national wine competition highlights rising quality of British still wines

The WineGB Awards 2019 unveiled its medal winners today (3 July), with a noticeable number of still wines receiving medals and commendations from the competition’s judges.

Although Great Britain is still overwhelmingly associated with high-quality sparkling wine, the results of the competition suggest that our burgeoning industry also has a promising future making still wines.

A total of 122 still wines were submitted for entry, winning 13 gold medals, 24 silver and 85 bronze medals.

Almost 70% (84) of the 122 medal-winning still wines were from the 2018 harvest – a vintage described by many British growers as “unprecedented.”

The WineGB Awards are run by the industry body Wines of Great Britain (WineGB), in association with its sponsors Waitrose and closure supplier Rankin Brothers & Sons.

Twelve judges were selected to taste the entries, headed up by Susie Barrie MW and Oz Clarke. Additional judges included Hakkasan’s Group Head of Wine Christine Parkinson and Richard Hemming MW.

Judging took place on 17 and 18 June at the Institute of Masters of Wine in London.

Susie Barrie MW, Chair of Judges, commented: “What was wonderful to see this year was the number of still wines entered into the WineGB Awards on the back of the superb 2018 vintage.

“We all know how great the UK’s finest sparkling wines are, but the still wines this year were the best we’ve tasted.”

Oz Clarke, Co-Chair of Judges, added: As a long-time believer in English and Welsh wines, I am really proud to be involved in these national wine awards. We set the bar very high and all the medals – bronze, silver and gold – every medal counts and is hard-earned and well-deserved.”

However, sparkling wines gathered the most gold awards, winning 26 of the 39 gold medals.

A total of 94 sparkling wines were entered, winning 39 gold, 53 silver and 124 bronze medals respectively.

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