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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 May 2007, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
Sparkling white wine scoops gold
Label of the gold medal-winning sparkling wine (from Denbies Wine Estate)
The Greenfields Cuvee has won several international awards
A sparkling white wine produced in Surrey has won the only gold award in a record haul for English wines at an international competition.

The Greenfields Sparkling Cuvee 2003, from the Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, scooped a top prize at the International Wine Challenge.

Winery manager Marcus Sharp said: "We are trying to make English wines, not imitate any other country's wines."

Twenty other English entries got silver or bronze awards.

The winners were from vineyards in Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Hampshire, Cornwall or East Anglia.

The result means the number of English wines being recognised at the contest has doubled since 2005.

People have very pre-conceived notions about English wine so the best thing to do is to get people to taste it
Marcus Sharp, Denbies Wine Estate

Four hundred judges from 19 countries tasted more than 9,300 entries this year.

The two-week tasting process in London saw the wines whittled down through a points-scoring process.

The Greenfields wine is described as a blend of the pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay grapes.

It won silver in last year's International Wine Challenge, and gold in the 2006 International Wine and Spirit Competition.

Mr Sharp said: "This is an English wine being judged in an international competition and it is hugely important.

"People have very pre-conceived notions about English wine so the best thing to do is to get people to taste it."

However, the English entries still have some way to go to catch up with their continental counterparts - French wines won 44 gold medals and 635 medals in total this year.

English vineyards show off wines
27 May 06 |  England
Golden cheers for Cornish bubbly
14 Sep 05 |  Cornwall

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