'Royal wedding' wine gets gold for Kent vineyard

Image caption More than 12,000 wines were entered and just 406 gold medals awarded

A Kent vineyard has won gold at the wine industry's "Oscars" for a wine reportedly drunk at the royal wedding.

Chapel Down in Tenterden triumphed with its Rose Brut at The International Wine Challenge 2011.

It has been widely reported that Prince William and Catherine Middleton chose the sparkling rose to support British wine.

Chief executive Frazer Thompson said: "It is fantastic to be associated with the royal family."

The wine beat many from around the world in the sparkling rose category.

"The award will enhance our growing export business which, following the royal wedding in particular, but also the growing interest in the London Olympics, is a really exciting opportunity for Chapel Down," said Mr Thompson.

According to Mr Thompson winemaking in Kent, in its current format, has been around for 30 to 40 years.

However, a new wave of winemaking began in 2004 with a focus on getting the right vines in the ground, with the right investment and right wine growers.

The changes are bearing the fruit now and putting Kent and English wines on the map.

"It is wonderful that Chapel Down won the award," said Mr Thompson. "But it is also great for whole industry.

"The more people get the message about English wine from good producers, the better that is for everyone in the whole industry."

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