English wine let down by variable quality says eminent MW

  • Wednesday 30 July 2003

A basic lack of expertise among some producers is letting down the whole English and Welsh wine industry, according to the chairman of judges in this year's English and Welsh Wine Awards.

At the 35th annual awards ceremony, held yesterday at the House of Lords in London, David Wrigley MW urged those producers who are still producing wines with basic technical faults to invest in the training that would solve the problem. 'Without a sound base level of quality, the reputation of English and Welsh wines a whole suffers,' he said. 'This millstone of “variable quality” hangs round the industry's neck.'

At the same time, Wrigley was optimistic about the potential for English and Welsh wine. 'There is an ever-increasing level of skill, experience and talent at the top end of the industry. The best wines are getting better and, slowly but surely, there are more and more of them. In a climate like ours, and in a small industry, this is a great achievement.'

Of 135 wines entered this year, 88 gained an award. The Gore–Browne Trophy for the best wine in the competition was won by sparkling wine producer Nyetimber Vineyard, for its Première Cuvée Blanc de Blancs 1995. Trophies were also awarded for: New Wave Wines Curious Grape Schönburger 2002; Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 1996; Valley Vineyards Fumé 1998, Heart of England Oberon 2001, New Wave Wines Curious Grape Pinot Noir 2000 and Curious Grape Pinot Blanc 2001.

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