VINEYARDS across Hampshire are putting British wine on the global map after winning major international awards.
Hambledon Vineyard, in East Street, saw off competition from 240 other wines from across the globe to be given the Euposia award for Best UK and International Sparkling Wine 2015.
Meanwhile Exton Park, in the Meon Valley, was also celebrating success after its rose sparkling wine won the gold medal and overall trophy for the best wine in the WVA Wine of the Year competition.
Wine maker Corinne Seely said: ‘This is very special to us, because we have been judged by our peers in the region.
‘It is amazing to win the gold in our first year, and I am very proud of the whole team at Exton Park who have worked hard from vineyard to winery to produce this exceptional rose – with its unusual and very slow pressing.
‘We are delighted to be honoured in this way.’
Exton Park launched its first three non-vintage wines in May after 10 years of careful planting of Pinot Noir, Meunier and Chardonnay. grapes
Both Exton Park and Hambledon vineyards share the chalk in the South Downs.
Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery visited Hambledon Vineyard last week to congratulate the workers.
Hambledon’s Première Cuvée was found to be the best traditional method sparkling wine in a blind taste test.
In November, its Classic Cuvée beat other top Champagnes and English wines to win Noble Rot Magazine’s blind tasting of Champagne v English sparkling wines.
Mr Hollingbery said: ‘Our part of the world is experiencing a real renaissance in wine making and I am fortunate to have a number of fantastic vineyards in my constituency.’
He added: ‘What Hambledon has accomplished is on another level.
‘To take on the best in European sparkling wine and win is just fantastic and it shows that English wine is now firmly on the global map and is going from strength to strength.’
Ian Kellett, managing director of Hambledon Vineyard, said that he would like to expand to cope with demand.