Farm diversifications win the ‘food oscars’

FARM diversifications in the area have been celebrating success at the prestigious Guild of Fine Food Great Taste Awards.

Julia Medforth and her team at Raisthorpe Manor, near Thixendale, have raised a glass of their finest Raspberry gin to celebrate a haul of awards for their fruit infused liqueurs.

The Wold Top Brewery, near Wold Newton, has been awarded gold stars for three of its ales.

Raisthorpe Manor Fine Foods received a Gold Star for their Sloe Gin and Raspberry Gin, as well as two Gold Stars for their Damson Gin.

Julia Medforth, who started up the business, said: “My husband runs a number of partridge and pheasant shoots on our farm at Raisthorpe Manor, and I made some batches of my grandmother’s raspberry gin recipes to serve at the shoot.

“The gin was a roaring success and everyone encouraged me to scale up and bottle it and a little business emerged.”

Julia was delighted her hard work has been recognised in the national awards and she is already turning her attention to her next project - plum gin.

“I’m thrilled to win three Great Taste Awards, they’re really a seal of approval on our little farm enterprise,” said Julia.

“We keep adding ranges to our brand and it’s gratifying to see such a revival of fruit based tipples.

“Yorkshire has a long tradition of preserving fruits in alcohol, to ward off a chill on shooting or local hunts.

“Raisthorpe Manor is reviving that tradition and marketing the produce to a wider audience.

“We’ve just been offered a whole crop of plums from Bugthorpe - just a few villages away from us.

“We’ll happily take that glut of fruit that would be wasted on the wasps and make it into a lovely plum gin ready for sale at Christmas,” Julia added.

Celebrating its 18th anniversary, The Great Taste Awards are often referred to as the Oscars of the food industry and represent the authoritative, independent standard for Britain’s fine food sector.

All the tasting was done blind by a panel of 350 food writers, critics and industry experts and continues to be the Gold Standard for locally produced foods.

Also coming out on top in the national awards was the Wold Top Brewery.

The Wold Newton farm diversification business has been celebrating too after gaining awards for its ales.

For the second time, the Guild of Fine Food has deemed three of Wold Top Brewery’s real ales worthy of an award, with Wold Top Bitter, Wold Gold and Wold Top Against the Grain gluten free beer all earning gold stars.

Gill Mellor, of Wold Top Brewery, said she was delighted with the awards.

“Given that this is the most important independent nationwide food award scheme and that it is renowned for being uncompromisingly rigorous, we are proud to have achieved recognition for the fourth consecutive year and to have put East Yorkshire on the brewing map once more.

“It’s particularly satisfying to achieve our first Great Taste award for Wold Top Against the Grain.”