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English Organic Wine Wins International Award

Top “biodynamic” wine is recognised for its excellence

Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard

Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard

Sedlescombe, the Sussex-based vineyard, has won two major medals at the recent ‘International Organic Wine Awards’ contested by wines from 18 countries. The wines that won – against stiff competition – are Sedlescombe Premier Brut 2010 vintage sparkling wine, and Sedlescombe 2011 Regent, an oak-matured red wine – possibly the first English red wine to win such acclaim internationally. Both wines won the Silver award in their class.

Proprietor and wine-maker Roy Cook remarked,” We are over the moon to have gained such international recognition, and it is a big honour in the organic wine world. We knew we had a good red wine when we picked the grapes back in October 2011, but it turned out to be a truly fantastic year for this wine.”

The wine is made by a “biodynamic” process, which means it is ultra-organic – biodynamics pre-dates organic farming by half a century and is based on a series of lectures given by Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s. This system of agriculture shuns chemical inputs in the same way that other organic farmers do. In addition it incorporates lunar and cosmic rhythms into the timing of the application of special biodynamic preparations designed to benefit both soil and plants.

Roy Cook noted, “It’s well known that English whites and sparkling wines can win awards internationally, but what this result shows is, in a good year, an English red wine can also out-perform some other reds even from the big name wine regions of the world.”

Sedlescombe's biodynamic red wine

Sedlescombe’s biodynamic red wine

Sedlescombe is a family-run business, founded in 1979 by Roy and Irma Cook, with Soil Association certification gained in 1982. It is renowned as England’s oldest and largest organic wine producer. In 2010 Sedlescombe moved to “premium organic” status by becoming the first vineyard in the UK to release a biodynamic English wine, their dry white ‘First Release’.

The biodynamic system is currently enjoying something of a renaissance around the globe, especially among wine growers, as a number of formerly organic vineyards are upgrading to this ‘gold standard’ organic system.

Somewhat unusually, but in keeping with the Cook’s eco-philosophy, they have adopted ‘minimal packaging’ for their wines. Neither bottle of the award-winning wine has a capsule covering the cork. Instead, the sparkling wine’s visible wire-hood proudly displays the logo associated with the Sedlescombe brand, and the red has a wax covering on the natural cork closure. The Cooks opted for cork in support of unique Portuguese cork forest eco-system and its producers.

Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard

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