Old Walls Vineyard, Devon
Today was the awards ceremony and lunch following on from the SWVA competition yesterday. It was held at the Old Walls Vineyard, Bisophsteington, not far from Exeter.
Present were many of the winegrowers from the region, and the atmosphere was very jolly as everyone caught up and discussed the soon-to-happen 2009 vintage. The general impression is that in the southwest, 2009 is a late vintage, and because of all the rain this part of the world has received, it's a tricky one, too. This is at odds with other reports I've heard - travel east and you'll find many growers enjoying a very good, somewhat early vintage. And the Lindos are buzzing about 2009 in their patch of Cornwall.
We had a tour round the Old Walls vineyard, which by UK standards is incredibly steeply sloped. From the top of the hill where the picture above was taken, you can see the river and the sea. 2009 has been a very difficult vintage here, with poor fruit set for many varieties and low yields.
After lunch we had the awards ceremony. I was asked to give a short speech as chair of the judges. I made the point that the quality seems to be increasing year on year - 75 of the 97 wines entered achieved a medal or a highly commended. This is an impressive statistic. A second look at the wines in the free-pour tasting before lunch confirmed that English wine is on the way up.
Labels: English wine