CORKS are popping in celebration after a Dorset wine producer won more awards – in the Far East.

Furleigh Estate, which makes sparkling wine on an 80-acre site near Bridport, is owned and run by Ian Edwards and Rebecca Hansford.

Furleigh’s Rosé Brut 2010 took the Regional Trophy in the Japan Wine Challenge 2017, while the Classic Cuvée 2014 won a silver medal in the Decanter Asia Wine Award where the Rosé also scooped the bronze.

The Japan Wine Challenge trophy will be presented to Furleigh Estate in Tokyo next spring by Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado.

Rebecca Hansford joined other English winemakers on a trade mission to the Far East led by the UK Government’s Department of International Trade. 

She visited Japan where she presented Furleigh Estate wines to the Japanese wine trade at a reception in the British Embassy in Tokyo. 

She said: “We are absolutely delighted to have Furleigh fizz recognised as one of the world’s top wines in such an important marketplace as the Far East. 

“The Japanese are very knowledgeable and discerning wine drinkers, and it was a pleasure to be able to show them our own sparkling wines – which are made using exactly the same method as Champagne, but from grapes grown on English soil. 

“To have our Rosé awarded the Regional Trophy is a huge accolade and to receive a silver and a bronze medal in the Decanter Asia Wine Awards is a wonderful boost not just for Furleigh, but for English wine in general. 

“We believe that these awards build the credibility of our wine in this very important wine market.”

The first vines at Furleigh were planted 12 years ago. 

“Now some 53,000 vines are spread across three sites and the vineyard produces around 40,000 bottles of sparkling wine and some 10,000 bottles of still wine each year.

Grape varieties are mostly the Champagne varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier as well as some Bacchus and Rondo for the Furleigh still wines.