The announcement follows the continued rise of English wines showcased by successes earlier this year in the IWSC’S northern hemisphere results. This saw English wines awarded a record breaking 80 medals. Among these triumphs, Gusbourne Estate was the only English winery to be awarded the IWSC’s highest accolade this year, winning two IWSC gold medals and one gold outstanding.

Founded in 2004, the estate’s 232 acres of vineyards in Kent and West Sussex focus on the three main traditional Champagne grapes – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. In addition to these sparkling wines, the winery also produces two stills, a Guinevere Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which is considered as one of the most promising still reds in England.

Nutbourne Vineyard in West Sussex also had a taste of success with their Nutbourne Sussex Reserve 2013, which was the first still English wine to take home a gold medal. They were also awarded at the IWSC’s annual award banquet in London’s historic Guildhall.

Charlie Holland, winemaker for Gusbourne Estate, said: “This year we secured some fantastic on-trade clients including Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck in Bray, Gordon Ramsay’s Royal Hospital Road in Chelsea and Simon Rogan’s foraging focused L’Enclume in Cumbria, and we will continue to develop our on-trade connections next year.”

Ewan Lacey, general manager of the IWSC, commented, “Gusbourne Estate has continued to go from strength to strength and produce a high standard of world class wines. They have achieved some great results this year including IWSC’S highest accolade – a gold outstanding and have become a standard bearer of quality English sparkling and still wines.”

Meanwhile, nine of 21 medals won in tranche one of the International Wine Challenge 2016 came from East and West Sussex.

East Sussex producer, Court Garden, showed star quality at this tranche of the competition, scooping three silver medals and a single bronze medal. Its Court Garden Blanc de Blancs Brut 2011, Court Garden Ditchling Reserve 2011 and Court Garden Ditchling White Ortega 2014 all earned silver medals, while its Court Garden Classic Cuvée Brut NV won a bronze accolade.

Ridgeview Wine Estates, which has been producing sparkling wine in East Sussex since 1994, also received four silver medals including its Ridgeview Blanc de Blancs 2011, Ridgeview Blanc de Noirs 2010 and Ridgeview Rosé de Noirs 2010. Its Marksman English Sparkling Brut Blanc de Blancs 2011 also received a silver medal.

Nine still wines received medals at this tranche of the competition, including four silver and five bronze medals.

The still silver medals winners were all white wines: Halfpenny Green Vineyards’ Tom Hill 2014, Chafor Wine Estate’s Chafor Bacchus 2014, Litmus’s White Pinot 2013 and Court Garden Ditchling Ortega 2014.