A total of 20 judges, including winemakers and masters of wine, met in Bristol on Saturday 11 March to judge wines from a total of 16 different grape varieties from all over the country.
The three gold medals were awarded to wines hailing from West Sussex, Devon and North Essex.
Learning his wine had taken one of just three gold awards the former Nyetimber winemaker, Dermot Sugrue, said he was “thrilled with the acknowledgement” for the Sussex winery.
“To be the only gold-medal-winning English sparkling wine at the inaugural IEWA is a fantastic accolade for 'Sugrue Pierre – The Trouble With Dreams' 2013,” he said.
The IEWA is the only solely English-focused wine competition and is set to be held annually in Bristol.
About the competition, Liam Steevenson MW (master of wine) and IEWA wine judge, said: “Blind tasting can have its flaws, but it is a hard place to hide. The poor wines stand out as much as the great ones.
“The standard in Bristol was impressive though, with some of the wines as tongue-thrillingly brilliant as I have tasted in a long time.
“I am fortunate enough to judge wines all over the world but there is something rather fabulous about an event managed so thoroughly, here in Bristol, involving a collection of frequently outstanding English wines.”
IEWA founder Alex Taylor said the English wine industry has been “on the up” for several years now and that he’s “thrilled” with the success of the first competition.
“English wine has never been better placed than it is right now,” he said.
“In terms of climate, politics, economics and consumer trends – it’s never been a better time to be an English wine producer – or consumer.”
He added: “I am very excited about the future of the Independent English Wine Awards given the response this year and the escalating quality of the wine being produced here.”
Sugrue Pierre – Trouble with Dreams 2013, West Sussex
Bacchus – Lyme Bay 2015, Devon
Tuffon Hall – Bacchus 2015, Essex