British sauvignon blanc wine from Gloucestershire vineyard named one of the ‘best in the world’ | UK News



A British sauvignon blanc wine has been named one of the “best in the world” in a blind tasting competition. 

Gloucestershire-based winemakers Woodchester Valley won the ‘Master’ medal at the Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters awards in the £20-£30 category of unoaked entries.

The wine, a 2021 vintage, beat entrants from more traditional winemaking countries such as France, Italy and New Zealand. It retails for £21.95 on the vineyard’s website.

The judges said the result is a “perfect example of why we taste blind – partly to leave any preconceptions behind us, and partly for the absolute joy of surprise when something unexpected turns out to be wonderful”.

They added: “And this wine was, indeed, wonderful. It starts with an intense gooseberry nose, building to reveal undertones of ripe lemon. On the palate there is bright, taut acidity and a juicy mouthfeel.

“Very well balanced, there’s just a hint of sweetness on the finish, which is long and textured. A very engaging wine, perfect for matching with asparagus or goat’s cheese.”

The Woodchester Valley vineyard near Stroud was established by lawyer Fiona Shiner in 2007 after she moved from Hong Kong to the Cotswolds. Her daughter Chloe, 34, joined the family business in 2018.

Mrs Shiner said they did not know there was a ‘Masters’ award above a gold medal so the award was “a very nice shock once we’d figured it out”.

She added she was inspired by her love of sauvignon blancs grown in cool climates and a historic reference to ancient vineyards in the Cotswolds.

She had read that historic vineyards were recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 and that the wines were “little inferior to the French in sweetness”, according to the 12th century historian William of Malmesbury.

‘Eyebrows were raised’

But she said “eyebrows were raised” when she first planted sauvignon blanc vines in 2015.

Success came fast however, with Woodchester’s 2018 vintage winning a gold medal at the 2019 Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters.

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In a post on their website celebrating their latest Masters status, the family winemakers said: “From the first taste of the juice from the 2021 harvest we were excited about its potential and are immensely proud of winning this award.

“It is a phenomenal result for our small Cotswold vineyard.”

‘The ultimate accolade’

The family business produces more than 100,000 bottles of still and sparkling wine every year. It is one of just a few British vineyards producing sauvignon blanc grapes, which are traditionally grown in warmer climates.

The Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters is run in collaboration with the London-based company The Drinks Business. The judges tasted 146 wines, awarding Gold, Silver or Bronze medals to the top wines.

Two entries – the British wine and the Pride and Glory sauvignon blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand – were awarded the title of Sauvignon Blanc Masters, described as “the ultimate accolade” by organisers.

Two Indian sauvignon blancs were also recognised at the awards, which the judges said were “particularly encouraging”.



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