29 June 2016

Nigel Farage tends to be photographed holding a pint of beer but he will surely have been tempted to change his tipple at the news that an English wine has become the first to win outright an international wine competition.

Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard has won the only "Top Gold" medal awarded with its 2015 Regent Rose wine.

The Sussex-based vineyard saw off competition from eight of the world's more established wine-producing countries, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain, in the International Organic Wine Awards.

Winemaker Roy Cook, who started Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard nearly 40 years ago with his wife Irma, said: "I knew that particular rose 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."

The Cooks other entrants — the 2015 Old Vine, the 2015 First Release and their 2014 Corymbus red wine — all collected Silver medals.

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