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English wine beats champagne in IWC trophy

A little-known English sparkling wine has beaten major champagne houses to be crowned the best in the world.

Camel Valley Wines in Cornwall knocked champagne giants off their pedestal by picking up an International Wine Challenge Trophy – beating more than 450 individual wines entered.

It is the first time an English wine has ever won an IWC trophy, considered the most important of the many medals and honours awarded in the wine industry.

Each year IWC hands out many gold medals to wines it considers “best in class”, and then it enters all the gold medal winners to the trophy competition. Only one trophy is handed out for each category, such as red wine, or sweet white wines. Camel Valley won in the sparkling rosé category.

Camel Valley, in Bodmin, Cornwall was set up by Bob Lindo, a former RAF pilot, and his wife Annie, who only started growing grapes in 1989. Their son Sam now runs the estate on a day-to-day basis.

Charles Metcalfe, the wine critic who is IWC Co-Chairman, said: “It’s an amazing achievement because it’s up against the might of champagne. To have beaten wines which have far bigger reputations and at much higher prices is an astonishing feat for a small English producer.”

The sparkling rosé, which was first supported by Rick Stein, who stocked it in his Cornish restaurants, sells for £26.50 – a considerably lower price than the some of the more famous sparkling rosés such as Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé, which can sell for more than £700 a bottle.

Sam Lindo said: “We’re absolutely over the moon. Its excellent for us and for English wine, and we actually think England is one of the best places to make this style of wine.”

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