Vintners toasting medals triumph

From left: David Lofthouse, Jennifer Lofthouse, Linda Hobson and Bill Hobson
From left: David Lofthouse, Jennifer Lofthouse, Linda Hobson and Bill Hobson

WINE makers are toasting their success at a regional competition.

Claxby’s Three Sisters Vineyard and Somerby Vineyard, near Brigg, both came away with medals at Mercian Vineyards Association awards competition in Stratford after going up against more than 100 other wines.

The Three Sisters Vineyard – run by retired couple David and Jennifer Lofthouse – won a bronze award for its 2010 Siegerrebe in the dry white category and the Best Label award for its 2009 Regent dry red.

Bill and Linda Hobson of Somerby Vineyards won a bronze medal for its Monument dry red wine – this wine was also a runner-up in the members’ choice category.

David said: “It’s brilliant to have our wines recognised in a big competition. We have to look after the vines very carefully so it’s good to know our work had paid off.”

David and Jennifer Lofthouse have been making wine for 35-years – they started on a very small scale using fruits like rhubarb and gooseberries.

The couple then started buying 1.5 tonnes of grapes every year from wholesale fruit suppliers and in 2002 David and Jennifer planted their first vines at their three-and-a-half acre paddock in Claxby.

The couple, who now have about 1,650 vines, live in a bungalow next to their vineyard – named after their three daughters.

Somerby Vineyards’ Bill Hobson decided to take up wine making after trips to several vineyards, including Three Sisters.

He said: “I’m delighted we’ve won a medal and can’t wait to enter next year – hopefully we’ll get some gold awards. My ultimate goal is to have our wines recognised internationally.

“English wine can have a bad reputation but we have proved it can be very good. It would be great if we had more sunshine but the main thing we need is a bright and dry autumn.

Bill has 9,000 vines and eventually hopes to make 20,000 bottles of wine every year.

Open days will be held at Three Sisters Vineyard on Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18 from 2pm to 6pm.

For more information about Three Sisters Vineyard visit three-sister-vineyard.co.uk or call 0845 473 5539.

For more information about Somerby Vineyards visit somerbyvineyards.com or call the team on 01652 628165.