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The Berkshire and Buckinghamshire producers leading the way

PUBLISHED: 11:03 18 October 2016 | UPDATED: 11:03 18 October 2016

What we actually went to see: just part of the delicious summer harvest

What we actually went to see: just part of the delicious summer harvest

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Celebration time: our local wine experts and brewers are leading the way both home and abroad

We’re raising both little and large glasses to the brewers and wine producers of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire this month. Our two counties are rapidly becoming the champions for world-beating alcoholic beverages, picking up award after award.

Although we tend to think of Bucks with its ideal ‘French copy-cat’ soil as perfect for sparkling wine, and Berkshire as a rapidly expanding brewing empire, the truth is that the counties are excelling equally in both disciplines.

Every single one of The Chiltern Brewery’s bottled beers now holds a Great Taste Award, recently winning six Gold Stars between them, taking the grand total of stars from the Oscars of the food and drink world over the years to 27.

Three Hundreds Dark Old Ale 5.0% vol was the star of a packed show, winning two Gold Stars, and John Hampden’s Golden Harvest Ale 4.8% vol, Monument Gold Pale Ale 3.8% vol, Lord-Lieutenant’s Cream Porter 6.0% vol and seasonal Glad Tidings Winter Stout 4.6% vol each picked up a Gold Star. Great news for the brewery based at Terrick, near Aylesbury.

Meanwhile, there has been a stunning string of successes for Alder Ridge Vineyard, next to Cobbs Farm Shop at Hungerford in West Berkshire. Having been chosen as one of the 16 best wines by the Independent newspaper, their 2013 Blanc de Noirs picked up a silver medal in the International Wine Challenge earlier in this year and now the Gold Medal at the 2016 English & Welsh Wine of the Year Competition judged by a panel of Masters of Wine.

You’ll find it on sale at both Cobbs and the sister farm shop, Fielders at Wickcroft Farm, Pangbourne Road, Theale for £27.99.

We popped into Fielders this month, ostensibly to look at the summer harvest of veg, but got sidetracked by both the wines and a splendid promotion of English gins. It was a reminder that our farm shops are always full of new surprises – make sure you support your nearest farm shops. You’ll be doing yourself a favour as much as our local producers when later unwrapping that delicious cheese, meat and bread to go with the drink of your choice!


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