Tuesday 6 December 2016 9:29 am

Raise a glass: The Independent English Wine Awards will give English-made wine a marketing boost

The first competition made up entirely of independent English wines was announced today.

After the news that English wine producers pledged to increase their exports tenfold by 2020, founder Alex Taylor wants the competition to raise the profile of England's wines and prove their quality.

Read more: Britain is set to become a top wine producing region by the year 2100

Although English wine's quality is only getting better, Taylor said it is a drink only enjoyed by those "in the know".

Big wins against champagne at blind tasting events and news of a £100m a year industry are remarkable. In particular, Blighty’s bubbly profile is fizzing but for the regular consumer, the rest of the country’s wine is still a relative mystery.

The Independent English Wine Awards will use international competition quality judging standards, and Taylor said the panel of judges will include winemakers, retailers and educators.

Read more: Weak sterling will push up wine prices, Majestic's chief exec has warned

The main goal of the competition is to help raise awareness among consumers, which will ultimately increase sales of English wine and continue to develop the industry, Taylor said. He added the IEWA medals will also help English winemakers market their products.

Entry for winemakers is open, and judging will commence in March 2017.