The UK’s wine of the year 2016 has been named - and it’s from Norfolk

Winemaker Lee Dyer at Winbirri vineyard in Surlingham. Picture: SUBMITTED.

Winemaker Lee Dyer at Winbirri vineyard in Surlingham. Picture: SUBMITTED. - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk winemaker whose wine has been named the best in the UK believes the accolade could help bolster the county's growing reputation.

Winbirri Vineyards' Bacchus 2015 won the wine of the year trophy at the English and Welsh Wine of the Year Competition.

Head winemaker Lee Dyer said the county's climate made it the ideal place to grow the Bacchus grape, which favours the dry autumnal conditions seen at its vineyard at Surlingham.

'In East Anglia over the last 10 years, we have become aware we can make some really exceptional still wines,' he added.

'I hope that this can raise the public profile of how good Norfolk wine is. This is shouting that Norfolk can produce the best wine in the country. It shows we can go head to head with the best and beat them.'

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Mr Dyer said the vineyard, which employs a core of 10 and occasional seasonal workers, was aiming to turn over £150,000 this year – a figure which could double next year as its vines and wines reach maturity.

It current bottles between 30,000 and 50,000 bottles a year, which are sold in independent wine shops and supermarkets including Waitrose and Marks & Spencer.

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