Bothy Vineyard, Oxfordshire’s oldest vineyard, picked up four silver awards in the English and Welsh Wine of the Year Competition earlier this week. As a boutique vineyard and winery Bothy prides itself in handcrafting its own wines on site in Frilford Heath near Abingdon. This dedication to detail and quality has paid off as all of the 2010 wines which were entered – Oxford Dry, Oxford Pink, Renaissance and The Doctor’s Bacchus – were given prizes at the UK industry’s own competition.
This year 274 wines were submitted from 78 vineyards, and is the highest number of entries this competition has ever received. The wines were tasted to international standards by a panel of 6 judges. Only Masters of Wine judge in this competition, bringing with them their wealth of experience, expertise and tasting to international standards. The judges this year were Susan McCraith MW (Chairman), Patricia Stefanowicz MW, Maggie McNie MW, Robin Crameri MW, David Bird MW and Anthony Foster MW.
Only a small number of wine producers managed to win 4 silver awards or better. Bothy Vineyard is particularly proud of its newest wine, “The Doctor’s Bacchus”, which is made out a grape variety that bears some resemblance to Sauvignon Blanc and is rapidly becoming the firm favourite amongst fans of English wine. Winemaker Richard Liwicki, who holds a Doctorate in microbiology, said, “Bacchus is an aromatic grape variety that just thrives on our site, but the trick has been in knowing when to pick it and how to enhance its character in the tank. As this is only our second year with this wine, we now know that we are on the right track!”
The official awards ceremony for the competition will take place in July at the House of Lords, hosted by the President of the United Kingdom Vineyards Association, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu. The last time both Sian and Richard Liwicki, owners of Bothy Vineyard, made it to the House of Lords for the ceremony was in 2008 when they received a national Trophy for their wine.
Bothy is the only vineyard-winery of its size to win 4 silver awards. Sian said, “Our small is beautiful philosophy has meant that we have managed to maintain our vineyard in an environmentally friendly way. We are also very local – most of our customers are from Oxfordshire – and this is the way we like it because we are part of the community. We have a host of volunteers that come and help out at harvest and other times of the year and I hope that they will share in the pleasure that we take in this recent success. We could not have done it without them”.
Author: Sian Liwicki
Bothy Vineyard offers tastings and sales direct from the vineyard - see their website for more details - Bothy Vineyard,
Member since: 10th July 2012
I love Abingdon and am passionate about promoting the businesses and events that are centred there. I want everyone to realise how great they are and how we should all be using them!