A Winery based just outside of Andover has been crowned Newcomer of the Year in the 2020 WineGB Awards.

In a virtual ceremony on September 8, Black Chalk, which is based in Cottonworth was also awarded a Gold Medal for its 2016 Black Chalk Classic.

The award comes on the eve of the 2020 harvest, the first for Black Chalk since it acquired its four vineyards at the beginning of the year.

Black Chalk is set to complete its brand-new winery in the coming days, just in time to start receiving grapes in a couple of weeks’ time.

Black Chalk’s winemaker and CEO, Jacob Leadley, said: “The team is thrilled to be recognised in this way by WineGB and the esteemed panel of judges at what is a particularly exciting time for Black Chalk.

"To be crowned Newcomer of the Year in a fast growing industry is a huge honour.

"The award acknowledges that Hampshire is one of the U.K.’s absolute best region’s for viticulture.”

The WineGB Awards takes place annually; this year’s competition saw 281 wines entered from 100 producers, representing 27 counties.

Judging took place in July, with a panel comprising Master of Wine, Susie Barrie, wine writer and presenter, Oz Clarke MBE and Rebecca Palmer, wine buyer of London-based wine merchant, Corney & Barrow.

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Speaking of this year's awards, Susie Barrie said: "This year more than ever we need to get the message out there about how great English and Welsh wines are, and get more and more people buying and drinking the wines.

"I am loving the innovation we are seeing from our winemakers and the way they are pushing every boundary – we have sweet wines, skin contact wines, Pet Nat styles and even sparkling Merlot.

"The competition gave us a fantastic overview of the wines that are available in the market right now, and we were so impressed with the quality.”

Oz Clarke added: “I’ve been enthusing about English wines for almost as long as I have been enthusing about wine.

"I have watched and felt the improvement in our sparkling wines and our still wines year by year.

"The kind of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay still wines that we make now, we just couldn’t make even five years ago. The quality of the classic cuvées we are seeing as people lay down reserves and manage to blend them together in their non-vintage styles is simply fabulous.”