Oz Clarke crowned top communicator

Wine writer and broadcaster Oz Clarke has been named English Wine Producers’ Communicator of the Year for 2016.

Oz Clarke is presented with his award by English Wine Producers chariman (Photo: EWP)

Oz Clarke is presented with his award by English Wine Producers chairman Simon Robinson (Photo: EWP)

Presenting the award at Vintners’ Hall, Simon Robinson, English Wine Producers (EWP) chairman, not only praised Clarke for his efforts to promote English wine, but also credited him with being the inspiration behind his own decision to establish the Hattingley Valley wine estate in Hampshire.

Julia Trustram Eve, marketing director for EWP, thanked Clarke for his support and enthusiastic communication about English and Welsh wines over many years, which “had undoubtedly helped to raise their profile and image”.

Accepting the trophy, Clarke spoke reminisced about the first time he tasted English wine and how he had enjoyed the crisp, green, distinctive, hedgerow aromas of the wine he was tasting, also remarking on how far English wines had come over the years.

The wine personality added that the future of English wine was “very bright”, saying to to the assembled vineyard owners, growers and winemakers from across the UK: “This is your time now.”

Clarke described English wines as “precious, pure, cool and bright”, echoing his comments at the recent International Cool Climate Wine Symposium (ICCWS) in Brighton, where he hosted a presentation and tutored tasting of English still wines.

Other English wine champions shortlisted for ‘EWP Communicator of the Year’ included Susy Atkins, Jamie Goode, Kate Hawkings, Jancis Robinson MW, Matthew Hudson and previous winners, Peter Richards MW, Susie Barrie MW and Olly Smith.

Other top awards revealed at the Vintners Hall were the McAlpine Winemaker of the Year Trophy, which was shared by Emma Rice of Hattingley Valley in Hampshire (who took the same title in 2014) and Piers Greenwood of New Hall Vineyard in Essex (who won the title last year).

The Gore Brown Wine of the Year Trophy – The Wine of the Year – was awarded to Winbirri Bacchus 2015, made in Norfolk by winemaker Lee Dyer who had already scooped three trophies for the same wine in the competition.

For more information on the winners of the English & Welsh Wine of the Year Competition, click here.

The English & Welsh Wine of the Year Competition is organised by the United Kingdom Vineyard Association and is judged exclusively by Masters of Wine.

To find out db‘s top 10 English still wines, click here.

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