North Yorkshire vineyard Dunesforde wins big at top wine awards

The owners of England’s most northerly commercial vineyard saw two of its wines were recognised at the Independent English Wine Awards.

Joint owner Ian Townsend, left, and Head of Wine Development Peter Townsend celebrate Dunesforde’s gold medal.

Dunesforde Vineyard, near Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire, won a Gold for its 2018 Sparkling Blanc de Noir and a Silver medal for its 2020 Solaris Still.

The news comes as a major boost to the owners of the six acre site as they prepare to harvest what will become the 2021 vintage.

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Ian Townsend, the joint owner, said they see the awards as a significant step towards Dunesforde being recognised as a respected wine producer. This was Dunesforde’s first time entering the competition.

Mr Townsend said: “We’ve worked very hard to create a sustainable vineyard this far north. It was always going to be a challenge, but to see our wines recognised in this way, is extremely encouraging.”

This year’s awards event attracted 155 wines from 69 producers across England and judging took place in the vaulted cellar of Avery's Wine Merchants, a historic venue in central

Bristol.

Among the judging panel was leading UK wine personality and presenter Susy Atkins who said: “The standard of the wines overall were the highest I have seen yet at this competition,

with the still wines continuing to gain in quality. Also notable was the number of top medals given to smaller, less widely known wineries.”

Master of Wine Anne Krebiehl added: “What an exciting day of judging and what a great opportunity to spot new producers. It is wonderful to know how many new estates make

exciting wines and I am glad we homed in on such worthy winners.”

The Townsend family planted 6,500 vines on its six-acre site in 2016 and the vineyard currently produces around 3,500 bottles of white, rose and sparkling wines each year.

Production is expected to peak at around 8,000 bottles in future years.