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Three cheers for county vineyard

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Three cheers for county vineyard

A SUSSEX rosé has become become the first English wine of its kind to scoop an international organic award.

The 2015 Regent Rosé wine produced by Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard beat 61 other entries from eight countries in the International Organic Wine Competition.

The Robertsbridge vineyard’s entry won the only top gold medal over more established wine making countries including France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Roy Cook and his wife Irma started the vineyard nearly 40 years ago and are known as eco-pioneers for their wholehearted embrace of organic wine-making.

Roy said: “I was quite shocked. I knew that particular rosé wine was very good, but I had no idea it was good enough to blow away the competition completely, and win outright such a prestigious event with so many other top wines from big-name wine countries – I don’t think this has ever happened before.”

The vineyard’s regent variety grape vines were planted 16 years ago and cultivated using biodynamic techniques, which aims to keep the vineyard in tune with the earth’s rhythms.

Roy is known as an eco-pioneers and the grandfather of organic viticulture having started the first organic vineyard in 1979.

In 2010, Sedlescombe became the first vineyard to release biodynamic English wine.

He said: “I now use natural wild yeasts in the winery, which is one of the main changes we have adopted since converting the vineyard and wine-making to biodynamic methods six years ago. This this leads to more complex flavours and character in the wine.”

In 2013 Sedlescombe gained an International award for their 2011 Regent Red, the first English red to gain recognition.

The vineyard is set in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

According to Roy, biodynamic methods are enjoying a revival worldwide.

He added: “Many of the early pioneering organic vineyards of the 1980s have transitioned to biodyanmic as a move against the standardization of wines around the world and a return to ‘terroir’ where wines of different regions are distinct from other regions.”