Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2018 was given a a best in show accolade, while winemakers across Hampshire, Sussex and Kent also saw their wine pick up gold medals
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An English sparkling wine has been named one of the best in the world at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards, as red, white and rose wines from the UK have bagged top awards for the first time.

While British wine was looked down upon by critics for decades, changing acidity levels of soil where grapes grow in the UK means homegrown wine now rivals that of France, Spain and Italy.

In total, 143 UK wines picked up gongs at the awards with one from Kent being awarded the ‘best in show’ with praised for its ‘citrus purity, a seaside freshness, and an unmistakable stoniness’. 

Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2018 was given a a best in show accolade, while winemakers across Hampshire, Sussex and Kent also saw their wine pick up gold medals.

The £65 Chardonnay was noted as having ‘remarkable assurance and accomplishment’.

Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2018 was given a a best in show accolade, while winemakers across Hampshire, Sussex and Kent also saw their wine pick up gold medals

Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2018 was given a a best in show accolade, while winemakers across Hampshire, Sussex and Kent also saw their wine pick up gold medals

Ridgeview's Rosé de Noirs 2018, which also cost £65, picked up a platinum medal

Hambledon Vineyard's Premier Cuvée Brut NV (£55) picked up a gold medal

Ridgeview’s Rosé de Noirs 2018, which also cost £65, picked up a platinum medal (left), Hambledon Vineyard’s Premier Cuvée Brut NV (£55) picked up a gold medal (right)

Elsewhere,  Ridgeview’s Rosé de Noirs 2018, which also cost £65, picked up a platinum medal.

The East Sussex winery uses Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes and was praised for its ‘full palate, full of flavour, an oaked rosé in sparkling form with resolved tannins’.

Hampshire wines also performed well, picking up five gold medals for Hambledon Vineyard’s Premier Cuvée Brut NV (£55), Candover Valley Wines’ Brook Brut NV (£33), and Raimes Classic Brut 2018 (£31).

Nethercote Hill Pinot Noir-Rondo, at £17, picked up a silver award

Candover Valley Wines Candover Brook Brut got a gold award

Nethercote Hill Pinot Noir-Rondo, at £17 (left), picked up a silver award while Candover Valley Wines Candover Brook Brut (right), got a gold gong

Even the French prefer English sparkling wine! 

Brits drink nearly three times as much Champagne than English sparkling wine due to outdated perceptions of being higher quality and making a better impression on others – but in a blind taste test, the French actually preferred wine grown on British shores.  

Kent-based wine producer Chapel Down took its best-selling sparkling wine to the Champagne region of France, to conduct the taste test.

Under the playful guise of ‘Chapelle en Bas’, a literal brand translation of Chapel Down, the English wine producer invited French consumers to try its Brut alongside a best-selling branded Champagne. The verdict? 60 per cent of consumers preferred Chapel Down to Champagne. 

Chapelle en Bas was praised by locals and tourists alike – describing the wine as ‘fresher’ and ‘crisper’ – but there were several shocked faces and raised eyebrows after revealing this mysterious cuvée hailed from England. 

Chapel Down Chief Marketing Officer, Liam Newton, said: ‘The French know a thing or two about sparkling wine, with their centuries of winemaking heritage, so what better place than Champagne to sample our Chapel Down Brut? We are incredibly proud of the exceptional quality of our English sparkling wine, and it was great to have this affirmed by the French themselves.

Two wineries in Kent also picked up Gold Medals, including Chapel Down’s Kit’s Coty Coeur De Cuvée Extra Brut 2016 (£36) and  Woodchurch Classic Brut 2017 (£33).

Of the UK’s 143 wins, seven were awarded to red wines – including Ridgeview’s Pinot Noir Reserve Brut at £57 and Nethercote Hill Pinot Noir-Rondo, at £17, which both picked up silver awards.

The master of wine Simon Field, regional chair for the UK at DWWA, said: ‘The increase in both volume and quality of the still wines submitted, their provenance as varied as their quality was consistent.

‘The quality of the sparklers, secondly, continues to impress as the category takes on maturity; as the wines and winemakers alike take on a little more age it becomes increasingly clear that the long-held faith in such things has most definitely not been informed by misguided patriotism.’

The Decanter Awards is now in its 20th year, and has become the most respected wine competition in the world 

A total of 236 judges from 30 countries judged the awards, including 53 masters of wine and 16 sommeliers. 

The success of English wine follows the International Wine Challenge, where an English White Trophy was awarded to Lyme Bay Winery for its Martin’s Lane Chardonnay 2020 And Devon’s Lympstone Manor Estate took home the English Red Trophy for its Triassic Pinot Noir 2020. 

It’s the first time that still English wine has been recognised for both red and white.     

Helen McGinn, one of the six Co-Chairs of the International Wine Challenge told FEMAIL: ‘England, particularly regions in the south, has been internationally recognised for the production of world class sparkling wines for some time now. 

‘In recent years, England’s still wines have also come on leaps and bounds and it is great to see both reds and whites recognised with trophies in this year’s challenge.’

All the UK winners at the Decanter International Wine Awards


Gusbourne Blanc De Blancs 2018


Ridgeview Rosé De Noirs Brut


 Gusbourne Guinevere Chardonnay

Candover Valley Wines Candover Brook Brut

Hambledon Vineyard Premier Cuvée Brut 

 Chapel Down Kit’s Coty Coeur De Cuvée Extra Brut

Woodchurch Classic Brut

Raimes Classic Brut 


Kingwood Estate Classic Cuvee Brut

Wyfold Vineyard Brut

Wyfold Vineyard Rosé Brut

Busi Jacobsohn Wine Estate Cuvée Brut

Busi Jacobsohn Rosé

Bluestone Classic Cuvee

Bluestone Rosé Cuvée Brut

Roebuck Estates Classic Cuvée

Wiston Estate Rosé Brut

Wiston Estate Blanc De Blancs Brut

Bluebell Vineyard Estates Hindleap MV Classic Cuvee Brut

Harrow & Hope Brut Rosé

Harrow & Hope Brut Reserve No.7

Ovens Farm Vineyard Solaris

Vagabond Wines Dios Mío

Whitehall Vineyard Bella Rosa Rosé

Whitehall Vineyard Nethercote Hill Pinot Noir-Rondo

Balfour Winery Rosé Brut

Balfour Winery Leslie’s Reserve Brut

Louis Pommery Brut

The Squerryes Late Disgorged Brut

Camel Valley Vineyard Rosé Pinot Noir

Camel Valley Vineyard Rosé Pinot Noir Brut

Aldi Specially Selected Bowler & Brolly Winemaster’s Lot Classic Cuvee Brut

Chapel Down Grand Reserve

Chapel Down Rosé Brut Reserve

Ridgeview Pinot Noir Reserve Brut

Digby Leander Pink Brut

Greyfriars Blanc De Blancs Brut

Halfpenny Green Chardonnay

Harrow & Hope Blanc De Blancs Brut

Harrow & Hope Blanc De Noirs Brut

Bluebell Vineyard Hindleap Blanc De Blancs Brut

Bluebell Vineyard Hindleap Meunier Brut

High Clandon Estate Vineyard The Gloriana Cuvée Prestige Vintage Brut

Rathfinny Wine Estate Rosé Brut

The Grange Classic

Gusbourne Brut Reserve

Gusbourne English Rosé

Gusbourne Late Disgorged Brut Reserve

Gusbourne Blanc De Noirs Brut

Gusbourne Exclusive Release Brut

Chapel Down Kit’s Coty Bacchus

Chapel Down Kit’s Coty Chardonnay

Chapel Down Kit’s Coty Blanc De Blancs Brut

Chapel Down Reserve Brut

Oastbrook Estate Cuvée Brut

Hattingley Valley Wines Classic Reserve Brut

Hattingley Valley Wines Blanc De Blanc Brut

Lyme Bay Winery Pinot Noir

Simpsons’ Wine Estate White Cliffs Blanc De Blancs Brut

Simpsons’ Wine Estate Derringstone Pinot Meunier

Ridgeview Fitzrovia Rosé Brut

Ridgeview Oak Reserve Brut

Coates and Seely Blanc De Noirs La Perfide

Coates and Seely Reserve Brut

Oxney Organic Estate Blanc De Blancs Brut

Bolney Estate Pinot Gris 


Langham Culver Classic Cuvée Extra Brut

Vagabond –

Asda Asquith Gardens

Quoins Organic Vineyard Rosé

Woodchurch Rosé Brut

Woodchurch Chardonnay Brut

Everflyht Brut

Roebuck Estates Rosé De Noirs Brut

Yotes Court Vineyard Livelovelaugh Pinot Gris Brut

Roebuck Estates Reserve

Hambledon Vineyard Classic Cuvée Brut

Mountfield Winery Blanc De Blancs Brut

Raimes Vintage Rosé Brut

White Castle Vineyard Regent

Wiston Estate Library Collection Blanc De Noirs Zero Dosage

Bluebell Vineyard Hindleap Rosé Brut

Camel Valley Vineyard Bacchus Dry

Rathfinny Wine Estate Classic Cuvée Brut

Whitehall Vineyard Charlotte May Rosé

The Grange Pink

The Grange White From Black

Bath Sparkling Wine Minerva

Ovens Farm Vineyard Bacchus

Vagabond Wines Pét Not Brut Nature

Ark Wines Chardonnay-Bacchus

Langham Blanc De Blancs Extra Brut

Deer Park Solaris

Deer Park Special Reserve

Hattingley Valley Wines Rosé Brut

Lyme Bay Winery Martin’s Lane Pinot Noir

Three Choirs Vineyards Bacchus

Three Choirs Vineyards Siegerrebe

Biddenden Vineyards Gribble Bridge Rosé Brut

Camel Valley Vineyard Atlantic Dry

Ambriel Reserve Demi-Sec

Greyfriars Cuvée Royale Brut

Greyfriars Classic Cuvée Brut

Ambriel Blanc De Blancs

Bride Valley Vineyard Blanc De Blancs Brut

Ambriel Classic Cuvee 

Rathfinny Wine Estate Blanc De Blancs Brut

Rathfinny Wine Estate Blanc De Noirs Brut

Whitehall Vineyard Pinot Gris

Hush Heath Estate Balfour Gatehouse Pinot Noir

Hush Heath Estate Balfour 1503 Classic Cuvée Brut

Candover Valley Wines Candover Brook Rosé Brut

Deer Park Bacchus

Saffron Grange Classic Cuvée Brut

The Squerryes Brut

The Squerryes Rosé Brut

Camel Valley Vineyard Reserve Brut

Camel Valley Special Reserve Brut

Camel Valley Vineyard Classic Cuvée Brut

Camel Valley Vineyard Extra Dry

Camel Valley Vineyard Pinot Noir Brut

Camel Valley Vineyard Annie’s Anniversary Brut

Camel Valley Vineyard Chardonnay Brut

Chapel Down Brut

Libertine Rosé Brut

Ridgeview Cavendish Brut

Ashling Park Estate Ashling Park Blanc De Blancs

Hencote Vivienne

Langham Corallian Classic Cuvée Extra Brut

Hencote LXX

Nutbourne Vineyards Bacchus

Halfpenny Green Classic Cuveé Brut

Bolney Wine Estate Classic Cuvée Brut

Camel Valley Vineyard Special Reserve Brut

Chalkdown Rosé

Chalkdown Reserve Cuvée

Chapel Down Rosé Brut

Ridgeview Blanc De Noirs Brut

Hush Heath Estate Lark Song by Balfour

Hush Heath Estate Balfour Chardonnay

Digby Reserve Brut

Digby Brut

Woodchester Valley Orpheus Bacchus

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