Family-run Northamptonshire vineyard wins national accolade for its signature sparkling wine

The award comes as the business celebrates its tenth anniversary

Friday, 25th June 2021, 1:43 pm
Updated Friday, 25th June 2021, 1:46 pm
Stonyfield wine has won a gold medal.
Stonyfield wine has won a gold medal.

A Northamptonshire family-run vineyard has scooped a national accolade for its signature sparkling wine.

Stonyfield Wine in Blisworth has won a gold medal and the Dudley Quirk Trophy for Best Sparkling Blend 2021 from WineGB, the UK body for grape growers and winemakers.

The honour is usually bestowed upon the country’s larger, southern vineyards and Stoneyfield is one of the smallest vineyards to win such an award.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Vineyard partner, John Folliott Vaughan, said: “We’re flattered and frankly amazed to be both the first small and only Midlands-based vineyard to receive this national trophy and all the more so when you appreciate that the land on which the vines now flourish was once simply an old, stony field with no obvious use.

“There’s evidence of wine production in the county dating back to Roman times and while Northamptonshire may be better known these days for beer and gin, we’re thrilled to think that, even with our humble one acre, we’re helping to put the county firmly back on the winemaking map.”

The award celebrates the Best Sparkling Blend, a category for wines made using the traditional champagne method, but not restricted to classic champagne grapes.

Stonyfield grows both Pinot Noir, a traditional champagne grape, and Seyval Blanc, a variety which thrives in England and, blended, they produce a wine with complexity, depth and quality.

Co-Chair of judges, Susie Barrie, said: “2021 has been a great year for the WineGB Awards and undoubtedly our best yet.

“These Awards shine a light on the very best still and sparkling wines the UK has to offer and it’s wonderful to bear witness to an industry that is now consistently producing wines that really are world-class.

“Not only that, the range and variety of wines just keeps on getting better.”

After planting the first vines in 2011 on the south-facing slope of spoil left behind after the digging of the Grand Union canal and Blisworth tunnel in the late 18th century, the award comes at a time when the family is celebrating the businesses’ tenth anniversary.

The Dudley Quirk Trophy was presented at the vineyard yesterday (June 24) during a small outdoor gathering.