You might need to sit down: An English rosé wine just won an international competition outright

Francesca Washtell
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Rose Brunch Hosted By Martha Stewart And Jean-Georges Vongerichten - 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE
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We've finally done it. An English wine just won an international wine competition outright for the first time.

An East Sussex born and bred wine from Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard won the only "Top Gold" medal awarded for rosé at the International Organic Wine Awards.

The 2015 Regent Rosé beat 61 other wine from eight, more established wine-producing countries, including France and Italy.

This isn't the first time Sedlescombe have trailblazed into the international wine scene though, in 2013 it gained an international award for its 2011 Regent Red - the first English red wine to gain recognition beyond our shores. ​

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"I was quite shocked," said Roy Cook, who founded the vineyard with his wife Irma nearly 40 years ago.

"I knew that particular rosé 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 prize-winning rose was produced from the Vineyard's Regent variety grapes, planted 16 years ago and grown using "biodynamic" methods.

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

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On its website, Sedlescombe's wine-making process is designed so that the vineyards are "in tune with the earth's rhythms".

The English wine industry has boomed over the past several years, with 37 new wine producers and vineyards setting up shop in 2015 alone.

English wine, grown and produced from start to finish in England, is distinctly different from what is perceived to be "lower quality" British wine, which is made using imported grapes.

Meanwhile, UK supermarkets have uncorked some stunning victories in international wine competitions this year. An Asda Malbec rose to a surprise victory at the Decanter World Wine Awards earlier this month, while budget supermarkets won big at May's International Wine Challenge.

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