A VINEYARD near Winchester has scooped a major prize.

Raimes English Sparkling was awarded one of 16 gold medals with the 10th highest score of thousands of entrants from 26 wine producing regions of the world at the London Wine Competition.

Augusta Raimes, vineward owner with her husband Robert, said: “We knew our Classic was in with a good chance - it is delicious with heaps of apple and stone fruit, a layer of toasty notes, intense yet smooth and enjoyable.”

Their 10-acre vineyard, part of Grange Farm at Tichborne, is devoted to the classic sparkling wine varieties on chalk slopes near Hinton Ampner and Cheriton and the family have been growing grapes since 2011.

A bottle costs just under £30 and it has won over international critiques for its drinkability, packaging presentation and value for money.

The London Wine Competition was launched by the Beverage Trade Network this year and attracted entries from around the world.

Whilst a number of old world wines from Italy and France scored highly, there were notable surprises with two gold medals from England including Classic Raimes English Sparkling at number 10.

Raimes Classic is available from Naked Grape, Alresford; Fareham Wine Cellar, Fareham; and Auriol Wines, Hartley Wintney; and online www.raimes.co.uk/shop.

The vineyard is a member of Vineyards of Hampshire which was recently set up to promote local wine.

The other members are: Cottonworth, near Andover (30 acres); Danebury, near Stockbridge (7); Exton Park in the Meon Valley (55); Hambledon near Droxford, (50) and the oldest commercial vineyard in Hampshire set up in 1952; Hattingley (60) near Lower Wield, Alresford; and Jenkyn Place, Bentley, near Alton.

The Hampshire chalk soil is very similar to that in Champagne, France.