West Sussex vineyard awarded top acclaim

Upperton Vineyards
Upperton Vineyards

A FAMILY run vineyard at Tillington has beaten off competition from the major champagne houses and vineyards across the world to win ‘outstanding’ acclaim.

Upperton Vineyards has been awarded a silver outstanding medal for its Aurora 2010 English sparkling wine in this year’s international Wine and Spirits Awards competition.

The vineyard is owned and run by Andy Rogers and his family.

James, his son, who has a background in viticulture, is responsible for all aspects of production from managing the vines though to the finished product.

The business is focussed solely on the production of English Sparkling Wine.

An overjoyed James told the Observer: “These are very exciting times for us. We’re moving from strength to strength which is great.

“We are delighted Aurora has been judged as an outstanding world class wine and it shows the progress made by English Sparkling Wines over the last few years.

“We are also over the moon to receive the medal which is the culmination of all the hard work we have done over nine years at Upperton.”

The international judges found Aurora was a ‘gem of a wine’ going on to say it had ‘lovely definition and beautiful balance.’

All judging for this competition is by blind tasting from pre-poured glasses.

The vineyards produce a range of sparkling wine all of which has won other international acclaim including the Decanter World Wine Awards.

The vineyard is open to the public at weekends where people can learn about wine making and taste the award winning English sparkling wines.

They have come a long way since they planted their first 1,000 vines on the slopes below Tillington in 2006. It’s been a hard road for Andy and James and as both will testify,it has not been a project for the workshy.

But today the vines cover 20 acres, planted with the three main Champagne varieties, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Noir.

And in the newly-converted wine cellars, thousands of bottles wait for their labels.

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