Another busy month here at Astley Vineyard. Will we ever have a quiet one?
This month has been particularly busy in terms of press, awards and features. Here's a summary of where our vineyard has been mentioned recently:
March began with a mention in Emma Kay's recently published "More than a sauce: Worcestershire's culinary history". Emma is a member of the Guild of Food Writers, a culinary historian who has written a number of books about food from our nation's past. This time she focused on our home county, so we were thrilled to discover that she mentioned our vineyard.
Following this was a feature and a wonderful review by Matthew Jukes in the Daily Mail. As part of his annual "English Wine Compendium", the esteemed wine critic collated a list of the best English wines available that year. He chose our Old Vine Kerner 2015 as one of his star wines, about which he wrote:
"At a mature 40 years of age, (the Kerner vines) yield haunting floral tones, and this wine is lush, with a silky finish. It’s a unique creation."
The next exciting piece of news was discovering that our vineyard had picked up three medals at the 2018 Independent English Wine Awards. Our Vintage Sparkling Kerner 2014 won a GOLD medal (one of only 13 awarded), our Bacchus 2016 picked up a silver, and our Old Vine Kerner 2015 a bronze - a "remarkable" achievement for a vineyard our size according to the organiser Alexander Taylor. Our favourite judge's comment was:
"Incredible red apple nose, fantastic aromatics, ripe palate and wonderful nose." (Vintage Sparkling Kerner 2014)
The IEWA medals opened the door for more features about our wines. In particular, Great British Wine (blog and a judge at the competition itself) selected our Vintage Sparkling Kerner 2014 as one of his top 6 wines of the competition. He wrote:
"Most interesting was the Astley Vineyard Vintage Sparkling Kerner 2014, being the only non-Champagne varietal sparkling wine to take home a gold... (It is) proof that fine sparkling wine don't have to be made from Chardonnay and the Pinots..."
More competition news came next in the form of a silver medal for our Bacchus 2016, and a bronze for our Old Vine Kerner 2015 at the London Wine Competition 2018. Unlike other competitions, this one took the wine's branding into consideration (as well as overall quality). Another great result for our boutique vineyard.
Finally, although not press related, we are delighted to now have our wines stocked at fine dining restaurant Home in Leeds. Started by former La Gavroche chef Mark Owens and Masterchef 2016 contestant Elizabeth Cottam, this fantastic restaurant serves innovative British cuisine in an informal, relaxed setting. Their team are an absolute delight if you are ever in the area.
As the long winter finally comes to an end, we hope to see some of you here at our cellar door, or on our vineyard tours which begin in just a few weeks time (May).
See you soon,