English wine is still a Sparkling Success

Wine news

Fri 16 Jun 2023

By Kristen Dougall

Over the many years that English wine producers have been entering the IWSC, it has been fantastic to watch the category grow and continue to be awarded medals for great wines, boasting their strong typicity, complexity and balance. As English Wine Week (17th – 25th June 2023) approaches, the IWSC has taken a deep dive into the 2023 English wine results.

Although white wines have taken the lion share of planting in English vineyards, over recent years English wineries have worked hard to produce red grapes for still red wines but also for English Blanc de Noirs. It is the latter that caught our judges’ attention this year. Nine Blanc de Noirs took home well-deserved medals this year, with our judges noting the best displayed “elegance, complexity and autolytic notes that were brilliantly balanced by fruit.”

It’s probably no surprise to anyone that 79% of the medals awarded in 2023 for English wine went to sparkling wines. Over the last decade English sparkling wine has gained the much-deserved recognition in the global wine industry, no longer solely compared to its French counterparts, but firmly establishing itself as high-quality wines. This year, our judges took the English sparkling conversation in a different direction, looking at non-vintage and vintage English sparkling wines. It was vintage English sparkling wine that took home the biggest medal haul this year, dominating the medal count by 70%. Vintages as far back as 2014 were entered and awarded medals. Our judges commented that vintage English sparkling wine “showed a great level of consistency”. However, the two gold medals awarded this year went to a 2018 vintage and also a non-vintage wine. Both gold-medal-winning wines hailed from Hampshire. RAIMES English Sparkling Classic Brut 2018, our judges commented that the wine had “a light, youthful and delicate nose with fresh zest of lemon and lime. The palate is particularly elegant with great acidity and lots of secondary aromas of toast. Offers excellent balance and a pleasingly long finish."Hattingley Valley Wines Classic Reserve Brut NV, judges praised, “a smashing, aromatically expressive wine with refined perlage. It first exhibits Sicilian lemon, orange blossom and hints of toast leading to a concentrated palate laden with baked apple, warm bread and almond milk. Seamless, vibrant, textured and persistent."

If you are looking for something to help you celebrate English Wine Week, then Club Oenologique has you sorted, with a list compiled of “The best English vineyards for tours and tastings”. It is great to see so many of the IWSC’s winning wineries amongst the vineyards listed.

Winning wineries by county:










2023 Gold & Silver medal winners: