HomeNewsWine NewsBest of the West Head to Dorset for SWVA’s Annual Regional Wine Competition

Best of the West Head to Dorset for SWVA’s Annual Regional Wine Competition


Monday 10thSeptember sees wine judges head to Dorset’s Langham Wine Estate for the 2018 South West Vineyards Association (SWVA) competition. The annual awards, founded some forty years ago, provide an exciting opportunity for SWVA members’ distinctive wines to be tasted by an expert judging panel consisting of Masters of Wine and wine trade professionals, with the results to be announced the following day.

The 2018 competition, judged to international standards, sees 95 entries from 28 artisan producers across the South West counties including Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Bristol, and Gloucestershire. On the panel this year are wine experts Patricia Stefanowicz MW, Lindsay Oram, Richard Coulson, Jemma Mitchell and, new to the SWVA line up, Alex Taylor.

SWVA chairman Guy Smith comments on the competition: “The standard of wine entered by our members is increasing year on year, reinforcing the consistently high quality produced here in the South West by largely family-owned vineyards. With seven producers entering for the first time we’re very excited to taste this year’s wines . Sparkling white is the biggest group again, very closely followed by still whites. We look forward to sharing the results nationwide on Tuesday to ensure even more consumers are aware of the outstanding wine available across this burgeoning region.”

Caroline Gitsham, Head of Sales and Marketing at Langham Wine Estate, continues: “Having entered our wines into the SWVA competition for several years it’s a privilege to now be hosting the competition as  the quality and reputation of South West wine continues to increase year on year.  Alongside managing the general administration and logistics for the competition and continuing to focus on producing outstanding wines ourselves, our emphasis is also on helping the SWVA promote the stories of our producers. Following the judging on Monday, on Tuesday we look forward to welcoming fellow members for a tour of the vineyard and winery then lunch in the Vineyard Café ahead of the results being revealed.”



Visit the SWVA website again for the full results after the awards are announced. Results should be up Tuesday evening 11 September


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About the South West Vineyard Association

The South West Vineyards Association (SWVA) is one of seven regional associations covering the wine growing areas of England and Wales. It covers the Isles of Scilly, Channel Islands, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire. We share some Monmouthshire members with the Welsh Vineyards Association and some Dorset members with the Wessex Vineyard Association. All of the regional associations share a national parent body, "Wines of Great Britain" (WineGB).

Founded in the 1970s in by the late Gillian Pearkes, Devon-based English vinegrowing pioneer, the SWVA spread outwards from Devon to become geographically the biggest of the regions with the largest number of members and now has a membership of around 80. West Country vineyards are typically smaller than the large commercial vineyards of the SE, mostly family-owned-and-run. Many are open for visiting. Expect to find authentic, individual, terroir-driven wines, passionate, hands-on producers and beautiful, rural, sometimes quirky, usually informal wine tourism destinations. The standard of wines is generally high. Many are of international-award-winning quality and some producers are world-class trophy-winners.


About Langham Wine Estate

The Langham vineyard was originally established by John Langham on a very small scale. In 2009 John’s son, Justin Langham, decided to develop his father’s rudimental vineyard into a commercial venture, and planted 30 acres of land at their Crawthorne farm.

With a south-facing aspect, chalk soils and a unique microclimate, Crawthorne vineyard provides the perfect terroir for ripening the classic Champagne varieties – Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Pinot meunier. Established hedgerows provide natural wind breaks and habitat for a large variety of beneficial organisms. Growing their own grapes means they can pick at optimum ripeness, free from the shackles of contract purchasing and resulting in a better quality wine.

The Langham Wine Estate tasting room and Vineyard Café is open 10pm-4pm, Wednesday to Sunday through until end of September and Tuesday to Saturday from October2nd .


Visit www.langhamwine.co.uk for directions and full opening times.