The Dean Brut and Dean Blush not only received gold medals, but went on to claim top spots as Best in Class English NV Brut and Best in Class NV Brut Rosé.

The Dean and the Dean Blush are traditional-method sparkling wines made by college students from Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier grapes grown entirely at Plumpton College in East Sussex. The international competition in which they did so well pitted them against not only the very best of the UK wine producers (such as Ridgeview, Camel Valley and Hattingley Valley), but also the best Champagnes, Franciacortas and Cavas.

The college vineyards are located near Haywards Heath in the heart of Sussex, and, thanks to their exceptional site and the loving care that they receive, produce outstanding wines. Chris Foss, who heads the Plumpton College wine division said: “The key difference with our wines, is that the vinegrowing and winemaking is carried out almost entirely by our undergraduate students. You can almost taste their enthusiasm for tending the vines, managing the fermentations and agreeing the blends!”

Principal at Plumpton College, Jeremy Kerswell, added: “This is an outstanding achievement for Plumpton College. The staff and student winemakers are tremendously proud of their products and the awards they have achieved, which encourage them to go on to make great wines, not just in England, but all over the world.”

All the wines submitted for the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championship (CSWWC) are judged exclusively by three internationally renowned fizz experts, Tom Stevenson, Essi Avellan MW and Dr Tony Jordan. With producers hailing from 26 countries, including first-time participants from Armenia, Croatia, Moldova and Ukraine, the CSWWC is the largest and most relevant sparkling wine competition in the world. Tom Stevenson, founder and championship chair said: “While other wine schools around the globe make and sell their own wines as part of the hands-on teaching process, few manage to win gold medals with their efforts, let alone ‘Best in Class’. English sparkling wines are world class, and Plumpton is one of the best producers. It makes me proud to be British, proud of English wine and very proud of Plumpton.”