Kingfishers’ Pool Vineyard has won two medals in the Mercian Vineyards Association (UKVA) competition, which is a regional competition for English wine.
The still dry white wine “Solaris Noble Rot” made from Solaris grapes, won a bronze medal. This wine is made in the boutique winery at the vineyard in Rothley. The term “noble rot” indicates that the grapes had botrytis which makes the flavour more intense and in usually associated with the Sauternes region of France. Two other still wines were highly commended.
The pink sparkling wine, Noble Purpose, made from Orion and Regent grapes, won a silver medal. This was made from the Rothley grapes, which were sent to Halfpenny Green Vineyard in Staffordshire who have considerable experience in the complex process of making sparkling wine by the traditional method (methodè champenoise) using disgorgement which takes two years. The label was designed and produced by BS labels of Earl Shilton.
Vineyard proprietor, Liz Robson, said “This silver medal was a complete surprise and I am overjoyed. The sparkling wine had only been disgorged in time for the competition and to say it is a young wine is an understatement. The remnants from the judging bottle was the first time I had tasted it, and at the first sip I thought “Wow! This is something special.” I cannot wait for the wine to be delivered, which will be in November. The wines should be ready for sale in time for Christmas.” Liz went on to explain “the Solaris was an experiment and for a first attempt at a noble rot it seems to have been successful.”
Liz retired two years ago from her full time position as principal lecturer in midwifery at De Montfort University to devote more time to the vineyard, which started as a hobby in 2008. She is enthusiastic about local history which is apparent in the names of the wines. Noble Purpose commemorates the knights who used to gather at the Rothley Temple next door (now the Rothley Court Hotel) to protect pilgrims to the Holy Land which later evolved into the St. John Ambulance. Also to acknowledge the role of Rothley in the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act.
There is a history section on the vineyard website www.rothleywine.com which explains further.
The vineyard is small, but determined to succeed in producing fine quality wines with a distinctive Leicestershire identity. The vineyard’s seven wines are sold under its company name of Rothley Wine Ltd and can be purchased from local retailers, wine bars, hotels and at Ragdale Hall. Details on the website www.rothleywine.com