News and Events

Another scoop of medals for Alder Ridge Vineyard as they pick up Gold and Silver at The Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championship!

Alder Ridge Vineyard, based at Cobbs Farm in West Berkshire was established in 2011. Nestled into the Kennet Valley on southerly facing and chalky slopes, there was no question about planting the classic Champagne style grapes; including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and more recently Pinot Precoce and Pinout Meunier. The attention given to these vines borders on the obsessive but what has been proven, is the ability to produce world class English Sparkling Wines as they pick up yet more awards 20 months after releasing their first vintage.

Alder Ridge Vineyard

In 2016, their 2013 Blanc de Noirs beat some of the bigger French Champagne houses (such as Taittinger and Veuve Clicquot) in blind tastings at the International Wine Challenge where they were awarded a Silver and later in the year a very respectable Gold at the English & Welsh Wine Awards. This latest haul, from the prestigious Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships 2017, saw their 2013 Blanc de Noirs awarded Gold and their recently released 2013 Classic Cuvée a Silver medal. These awards pull together the very best in class of Champagne and sparkling wine from all over the world, with only 127 Gold medals and 167 Silver medals being awarded internationally.

Tom Newey, CEO of Cobbs Farm Co. Ltd says “We couldn’t be prouder of the recognition we’ve been given in these very tough and no less prestigious competitions. To think that our unique little vineyard in England is being awarded the same level of recognition as some of the centuries old classic French Champagne houses like Dom Pérignon or Vranken Pommery is incredibly humbling. These awards drive our passion to continue to produce exceptional English Sparkling Wines to the very best of our abilities.”

The full press release can be downloaded here.


Bothy Vineyard Open Days

This year we will be running our English Wine Week Open Days (open from 11am - 6pm) from the end of May. Come see our vineyard at its most beautiful – the pink tinged flower buds will be unfurling. Free tastings all day. Wander between the vines and wildflower areas (self-guided tours available), picnic on the grounds and chat with us. Plant sale. Free entry. Dogs on leads welcome.Excellent cycling stop-off!

The programmes for the days are:
Saturday 27 May
11 am free short tour of the vineyard
2 pm A Wine Miscellany by Graham Harding
3 pm free short tour
On Saturday 3 June
11 am free short tour of the vineyard
2 pm free short tour.

Annual General Meeting 2016

The 2016 Annual General Meeting was held at Cherwell Boathouse on Sunday 10th April. The AGM was followed by a tasting of the winning wines from the 2015 Annual Wine Challenge, the presentation of Trophies and certificates and rounded off by a delicious 3-course lunch. 16 members attended the meeting. We were joined by Barry Lewis, the new CEO of the UKVA who presented the main changes to the UKVA management structure and highlighted the main focus areas for immediate action.

2016 AGM Trophy Presentations
Four trophies were presented at the meeting (see photos). Mike Dean of Vernon Lodge was unable to make the meeting to collect the Anne Howitt Salver for best non-Commercial Wine.
2016 AGM

Tribute to John Petersen: Dropmore Vineyard

It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of John Petersen on March 29th 2016 following a 4-year battle with multiple myeloma. John was a very active member of the T&CVA and always participated in our events. He will be sadly missed. The Stefanowicz salver for the Best Rose wine 2015 was awarded posthumously to John and will be given to his widow, Feona, who intends to carry on John’s good work in the vineyard. Members of the T&CVA gave a toast to John’s memory with a glass of his award winning Rose wine, at the AGM.

John Petersen Tribute

Berkshire’s Most Westerly Vineyard Launches First Home-Grown Sparkling Wine!

Alder Ridge Vineyard, planted at Cobbs in 2010 and consisting of classic Champagne variety grapes Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, has now produced its very first 2013 Vintage Blanc de Noirs Brut, available from mid-November.
With terroir demonstrating many of the chalky characteristics of the traditional Champagne region, we believe this first vintage, with its exceptional provenance, shows the true potential of English Sparkling Wine and its bright future.

As Berkshire’s most Westerly vineyard, based at the much loved Cobbs Farm Shop & Kitchen, we continue to invest in this exciting new development by planting another 3 acres of Pinot Meunier and Pinot Précoce grapes in 2015. These additional classic Champagne grape varieties will allow us to further develop and enhance the flavour profiles of future Vintage releases to showcase Quality English Sparkling Wine at its best!

Alder Ridge Vineyard is based at Cobbs Farm Shop & Kitchen, just outside Hungerford on the A4. Cobbs specialises in promoting and supporting local and regional food producers as well as other artisanal and niche businesses. The site boasts a delicatessen, fresh butchery counter, fishmonger, florist, licensed café and bespoke indoor play barn.

Read the 'Emma Rice waves her wand across another sparkling triumph' article in Glass of Bubbly.

News Archive

T&CVA 2015 Annual Wine Challenge Results

The 2015 Wine Challenge was held at The Chafor Wine Estate, Gawcott, Bucks on Sunday September 13th 2015. 36 wines from 10 vineyards were entered from the Region.

The four judges were:
Patricia Stefanowicz MW
Elizabeth Kelly – wine buyer for Marks & Spencers.
Lindsay Oram - Wine and Food Technologist, Wine Marketing, Judge for IWSC and IWC, and a student on the MW course.
Yannick Joseph – Head Butler & Sommelier at Balliol College Oxford.

The numbers of wines entered per class were as follows:
Class 1: Dry White, 2014 – 13 entries; Class 2: Dry White, prior to 2013 - 9 entries; Class 3: White, not dry, any year – 0 entries; Class 4: Red, any year – 2 entries; Class 5: Rose, any year – 7 entries; Class 6: Sparkling, any year, any colour – 5 entries.

The following wines are to be congratulated for having won awards:-

2015 Medal Winners:


Sculpture in the Vineyard

Sculpture in the VineyardWhere can you see a rotating 15 foot stainless steel yacht, a blue Neolithic Egyptian goddess and a life sized horse gamboling among wildflowers in the Oxfordshire countryside? These unlikely companions will be unleashed in the grounds of Bothy Vineyard, Frilford Heath, as part of an ambitious sculpture show from 23 May to 7 June 2015. 

Sculpture in the Vineyard will be Oxfordshire’s largest exhibition of its kind this year:
200 outdoor sculptures, produced by 35 local and UK-wide artists, will be sited around the 7 acre grounds of the county’s oldest vineyard, drawing visitors through the vines, orchard and wildlife areas. These large sculptures depicting a wide a variety of subjects and styles will be on public view, variously made from glass, bronze, marble and stone, wire-mesh and composites. A further 50 indoor sculptures will be on show in the working winery so that visitors will be able to admire the artwork in between the fermentation tanks, barrels and press.

Planning has been in progress for months. It is spearheaded and coordinated by Lendon Scantlebury, a Wantage-based sculptor, art restorer and bon vivant.  Lendon is an experienced event organizer, art curator and the driving force behind the very successful sculpture exhibition in Bothy in 2013 and at Ardington last year.

The exhibition is being organized in aid of the Nasio Trust, which is run by Nancy Hunt (winner of the 2014 Inspirational Women of the Year Award).  This Abingdon-based charity links young people in the UK and Kenya, improving their lives by funding and arranging positive activities in both countries.

Bothy Vineyard is near Abingdon and only 6 miles from Oxford. Sian Liwicki of Bothy Vineyard said, “Our first exhibition was a dream come true and we are thrilled to host Sculpture in the Vineyard again. We are fortunate to have a lovely site which is just perfect for growing vines, but for three weeks it will be transformed by beautiful and innovative works of art. The public can taste our fabulous wines and leave with a greater appreciation of wine growing in England.”

Richard Liwicki, winemaker of Bothy Vineyard’s award winning wines, added, “I have been a supporter of the Nasio Trust for several years and this a perfect opportunity for us link three very different passions in our life – art, wine and making a difference to society.”

Sculpture in the Vineyard will be open between 11-6 on 23-25 May, 27-31 May and 3-7 June.  Entry and parking are free. All sculptures are for sale. Wine and other refreshments will be available throughout the day.  To preview the sculptures, visit from May onwards.

For an insider view of the setting up of Sculpture in the Vineyard, like Facebook:

Project Coordinator: Lendon Scantlebury, Barwell, 33 Barwell, Wantage,
Oxfordshire OX12 9AZ. tel: 07949260111 

Bothy Vineyard:  Sian Liwicki, Bothy Vineyard, Frilford Heath, Abingdon OX13 6QW. Tel: 01865 390067.  Email:

Nancy Hunt: The Nasio Trust, Jennings Business Centre, 7 Nuffield Way, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 1RL.  Tel: 01235 856290. Email:

Video of previous exhibition:

Lendon Scantlebury
Scantlebury is a dynamic and colourful character with a deep enthusiasm for art. Barbados shaped the man.  The sights, sounds, textures, tastes and smells seduced every sense in his formative years, and it is from that which he draws inspiration - for both painting and sculpting. Lendon and his partner Dawn Stephens (also a sculptor) run Barwell Gallery in Wantage.

Bothy Vineyard, established 37 years ago, continues an ancient tradition of wine making in the Vale of the White Horse, dating back at least to medieval times. The excellent microclimate, warm sandy soils, long ripening season and mature vines help produce wines of consistent depth and high quality which have won many awards. All wines are made from grapes grown on site.  The grapes are vinified and blended to produce a variety of dry and off-dry white wines in our own winery to produce a distinctly English style. Today 3 acres are under cultivation. The Bothy philosophy is to produce the highest quality wines from grapes cultivated in as environmentally friendly way as possible. 

The Nasio Trust runs day care centres in Western Kenya providing orphaned or vulnerable children with a daily meal, education, medical care and support.  In the UK, their unique programme, Nasio Exit 7 offers young people the opportunity to turn their lives around through positive activities and fundraising, culminating in volunteering in Kenya. The two-way relationship enhances both communities.

Cherwell Boathouse Lunch, February 22nd 2015

26 members of the T&CVA met to have lunch, network and present the trophies from the 2014 T&CVA Annual Wine Challenge. Full details of the winners of each of the trophies can be seen in the members briefing below.

Cherwell boathouse Meeting Award winners

Hundred Hills Vineyard

Stephen and Fiona Duckett have planted 61,000 vines already at their new vineyard near Pishill, and are planning to produce top quality sparkling English Wine. We warmly welcome them to the T&CVA and wish them great success with their vineyard. Download and read the full story here as reported in the Henley Standard.

Wine Growing in Great Britain

Wine Growing in Great Britain is a complete guide to establishing a vineyard in the UK and other cool climates and includes a chapter on the finances of grapegrowing, winemaking and sales. It includes a chapter on Vine Varieties, Clones and Rootstocks which is also published as a separate book.
To download further information on these publications click on the images below:
click to download informationclick rto download information

English Wine Festival in Oxford

200 people attended the English Wine Festival at the Oxford Union in Oxford on June 7th 2014 where members of the public were able to taste almost 200 Award-Winning English & Welsh Wines from the UKVA National Wine Competition 2014 held over the previous two days at Balliol College, Oxford. Despite torrential rain and thunder at the start of the event, attendees were able to sample all these wonderful wines sitting in the sunshine of the courtyard at The Oxford Union later in the day and were able to purchase local T&CVA wines to take home with them.

T&CVA 2014 Annual Wine Challenge Results

The 2014 Wine Challenge was held at Marlow Winery on Sunday September 14th 2014. 44 wines from 13 vineyards were entered from the Region – our best ever turnout both in numbers of wines and vineyards – this reflects that some of the newly planted vineyards in the region started producing for the first time this year.

A big thank you to the judges who were:
Patricia Stefanowicz MW
Elizabeth Gabay MW – Wine writer & historian, consultant, speaker based in St Martin Vesubie, France
Lindsay Oram - Wine and Food Technologist, Wine Marketing, Judge for IWSC and IWC, and a student on the MW course.
Yannick Joseph – Head Butler & Sommelier at Balliol College Oxford.
The numbers of wines entered per class were as follows:
Class 1: Dry White, 2013 – 17 entries; Class 2: Dry White, prior to 2013- 8 entries; Class 3: White, not dry, any year – 2 entries; Class 4: Red, any year – 4 entries; Class 5: Rose, any year – 7 entries; Class 6: Sparkling, any year, any colour – 6 entries.

The following wines are to be congratulated for having won awards:-

National Wine Competition – the heat is on!

Vineyards from all over the UK are rushing to put forward their best hopes into the UK Vineyards Association Wine of the Year Competition. After a complex, and at times trying 2013 vintage, the industry has landed on its feet with record-breaking harvest figures, and good quality to match. Read more...

Fairmile Vineyard, Henley-on-Thames planted!

A new vineyard is breathing life into a fallow piece of ground on the A4130 Fairmile heading north-west out of Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. Read more...

T&CVA 2013 Annual Wine Challenge

28 wines from 8 vineyards were entered into the T&CVA Annual Wine Challenge held at Brightwell Vineyard on 15th June 2013. Read more...

Wyfold & Theale vineyards scoop top prizes in Judgement of Parsons Green III

CONGRATULATIONS to Wyfold and Theale Vineyards, both in the Laithwaite stable and T&CVA members, who have taken the top two prizes in the Judgement of Parson's Green III - a competition to select the bestEnglish Sparkling Wines. Read more...

T&CVA 2012 Annual Wine Challenge

37 wines from 10 vineyards were entered into the T&CVA Annual Wine Challenge held at Stanlake Park Wine Estate on 21st July 2012. Read more...

English Wine Festival 2011 a huge success!

Around 600 people flocked to Stanlake Park vineyard over the weekend of 23rd/24th July 2011 for our English Wine Festival. You can download more details of the event here.

T&CVA 2011 Annual Wine Challenge

Stanlake Park Wine Estate on 24th July 2011.

English & Welsh Wine of the Year Awards 2011

T&CVA members in the English & Welsh Wine of the Year Awards  held in Bury St Edmunds on June 13th & 14th 2011.  Read more... 

T&CVA 2015 Annual Wine Challenge

Chafor tasting room
Fairmile Vineyard planting
Fairmile Vineyard planting
English Wine Fesitval Location - Oxford Union

Wine Festival Oxford

Wine Festival Oxford

T&CVA 2014 Annual Wine Challenge

T&CVA 2014 Trophy Winners

T&CVA 2014 Judges

2014 Judging above and below

Stanlake Park Mac Mackinnon trophy
Stanlake Park Mac MacKinnon trophy