Darts Farm’s Pebblebed Vineyard celebrates 3 national wine awards

25 June, 24
Darts Farm’s Pebblebed Vineyard is celebrating after receiving a silver award for its Sparkling White (2020) and bronzes for its Sparkling Rosé (2018) and Still White (2020) at the Independent English Wine Awards 2024.

Darts Farm’s Pebblebed Vineyard is celebrating after receiving a silver award for its Sparkling White (2020) and bronzes for its Sparkling Rosé (2018) and Still White (2020) at the Independent English Wine Awards 2024.

Winemaker and viticulturist, Alex, comments: “We are thrilled that three of our wines received an accolade at this prestigious competition. As a winemaker, it is one of the awards that really stands out and is recognition for the hard work and dedication we put into creating our wine. As a small-scale producer, we are absolutely thrilled to be listed amongst some long-established, well-known wineries.”

The IEWA is an independent, consumer focussed English wine competition which is judged by a panel of professionally diverse, credible judges, who consider all wines within a digitally controlled, independently audited judging process. The panel this year included a host of wine experts such as Master of Wine Liam Steevenson and renowned wine writers Susy Atkins and Fiona Beckett. The judges’ comments were extremely complimentary about the Pebblebed wines, with one describing the Sparkling White as ‘as good as Seyval gets’.

Darts Farm’s beautiful Pebblebed Vineyard & Winery is situated on the edge of the farm, in a little village called Clyst St George, just outside of Exeter. The team are proud to be one of very few single estate producers in the country; with the vineyard and winery in one place and wines made from their own grapes.

The 18-acre vineyard sits on top of a unique geological formation known as the Budleigh Salterton pebble beds. The vines enjoy some of the highest hours of sunshine in the county, and the lowest rainfall, being in the rain shadow of Dartmoor and the Haldon Hills. This unique terroir, combined with Darts Farm’s sustainable agriculture practices and traditional growing and harvesting techniques, helps Alex to craft award-winning sparkling and still Devon wines.

To craft their sparkling wines, winemaker Alex uses the traditional champagne method, which involves bottle fermenting and ageing on lees for a minimum of 3 years to develop complex characteristics. Unlike mass-produced wines that blend to achieve an identical taste year on year, their batches of sparkling wines are crafted annually to reflect each growing season, to showcase the unique flavours of that particular year, making each batch extra special.

They are currently on their 2018 vintage Sparkling Rosé and 2020 vintage Sparkling White. Both were amazing years for winemaking, with the warm weather in 2020 seeing the harvest start a few days earlier than usual, with the grapes coming in at slightly higher sugar levels and harvest taking place in perfect weather conditions. The resulting sparkling is excellent.

Try the wines for yourself at a Vineyard Tour & Tasting, which run from May to September, are led by winemaker, Alex and are a fantastic opportunity to discover more about the secrets behind crafting amazing English sparkling and still wine in the beautiful East Devon countryside.

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