Friday, 20 October 2017

Finally, an English victory down under

WHILE England have been doing poorly at the cricket world cup down under, our winemakers have been doing

WHILE England have been doing poorly at the cricket world cup down under, our winemakers have been doing much better.

A sparkling wine from Wyfold came top in a blind-tasting competition between English and New Zealand organised to coincide with the tournament.

The Wyfold Brut 2010, from a winery co-owned by Barbara Laithwaite, was the stand-out "player" in the England team, which was captained by wine expert Oz Clarke.

The competition, held in Wellington, New Zealand, saw 12 sparkling wines from each country pitted against each other in what became known as the Battle of the Bubbles.

Mrs Laithwaite, of Laithwaites Wines, says: "We were delighted to be selected as a member of the team â?? that was a great honour in itself. The others were much larger commercial vineyards.



"To be named as player of the match in Wellington was wonderful â?? it was a great honour for England and the Thames Valley."

The Wyfold vines were planted in 2003 and the first commercial vintage was taken in 2009, which came top in a UK competition for English sparkling wine.

The second vintage was taken in 2010 and it made about 4,500 bottles, six of which were sent to New Zealand for the competition.

Mrs Laithwaite says: "We were very pleased with the first one and our second vintage has been going really well. It is a top-end wine and, of course, the very best English sparkling wine rivals champagne.

"It is a very fresh wine and is grown almost on flint so this kind of minerality comes through. It is balanced and creamy with stone fruit flavours, reflecting the soil at Wyfold."

An extra 5,000 vines were planted last year, taking the total to around 9,000 and Mrs Laithwaite hopes to produce a rosé.



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