Wine Circle

Hope Valley Wine Appreciation Circle


Hope Valley Wine circle was formed in 1973 by a group of wine enthusiasts. Membership numbers of between 20 and 30 have been maintained over the years. New members are always welcome, just come along to a meeting or contact Meetings are held on the third Monday of the month at the Moore Memorial Hall in Bamford and usually start at 8:00pm.

Aims and Objectives

  • To foster good fellowship amongst wine lovers and wine makers.
  • To keep alive the traditions of wine making and brewing.
  • To exchange ideas for the mutual improvement of home made wines and beers.
  • To study the showing and judging of wines and beers and to introduce members to these skills.

Evening meetings

Meetings usually include some entertainment from for example a guest speaker. The evening is rounded off with a supper provided by the members.

Annual Competition

The Wine Festival is held on a Saturday usually in November each year. The ten classes are:

  1. Social for the Ken Shuttleworth Trophy
  2. Dry White for the Rev and Mrs C M Roberts Trophy
  3. Dry Red for the Brian Fearn Trophy
  4. Dessert for the Jack Wilson Trophy
  5. Country Wine for the Marina and Eric Lee Trophy
  6. Sweet White for the Robert Peel Trophy
  7. Sweet Red for the Andrew Loughlin Trophy
  8. Rosé for the Emma Cup
  9. Beer for the Eric Bloxham Trophy
  10. Fortified Wine for the Sheffield Cup

Bottles of homemade wine and beer are usually handed in at the Moore Memorial Hall on the morning or early afternoon of the Wine Festival. Members can hand in their own entries or ask a fellow member to do so. Members are asked to return any throphies on the morning of the Festival. The judges and stewards are usually announced prior to the Wine Festival, and the judging takes place in the afternoon.

Members may enter up to TWO bottles in each class. The fee is currently 25p per bottle.

Rules for Competitions

The following rules apply to mini and annual competitions.

1 Wines

1.1 All wines should be made by the process of fermentation. The fortification of wine by the addition of extra alcohol is not permissible except for the Fortified Wine class (see 8.3 below).

1.2 Wine should be presented in clear glass punted bottles with high, rounded shoulders (Bordeaux type) of approx 750mL (26 fl oz) capacity.

1.3 Plastic topped cork stoppers should be used. All plastic stoppers may not be used. Capsules should not be fitted.

1.4 The bottles should be filled so that when the cork is pushed fully home, the air space below the cork is between 13 and 25mm (0.5 to 1 inch) in depth.

1.5 Wines should be labelled according to their class (Dry Red, Sweet White, etc). Only country wine should refer to ingredients.

1.6 The label should be plain white, approximately 40mm (1.5") in depth and 90mm (3.5") in width. The bottom of the label should be 50mm (2.0") from the bottom of the bottle and be placed midway between the seams.

1.7 For our purposes, a Country Wine is a wine made from fresh fruit, vegetables or roots. No concentrates, including grape juice, should be used, but raisins can be used as a substitute. The wine may be of any colour and may be dry medium or sweet. The label should state the main ingredient(s) and the sweetness.

1.8 A Dessert Wine may be white, golden, tawny or red. It should be rich in bouquet and flavour, medium to sweet, full bodied and with high alcohol content.

1.9 A Rosé Wine should have a true pink colour, with no trace of brown, delicate in flavour, light in texture and alcohol, and dry to medium.

1.10 A Social Wine may be red, white or rosé and should state on the label if it is dry, medium or sweet. It should be a pleasant wine suitable for drinking throughout a social occasion.

2 Beer

2.1 Beers should be presented in clear or brown glass bottles of approx. 0.5l (one pint) capacity. Metal or plastic tops or crown closures can be used.

2.2 The air space between the top of the beer and the bottom of the closure shall be between 13 and 25mm (0.5 to 1 inch).

2.3 The label and its position shall be as for wine.

3 Fortified Wines

These are made by the normal process of fermentation whose alcoholic strength is further increased by the addition of ethyl alcohol. The latter should be in the form of an unflavoured spirit such as Polish Spirit or Vodka, so that the original flavour of the wine is not masked by the flavour of the sprit. In winemaking, fortification is most often used in the simulation of vermouths and other herb aperitifs, sherries and ports. The principles and procedures involved in judging fortified wines are the same as those for unfortified wines. Particular care must be taken while assessing the flavour of a fortified wine to note whether the alcoholic strength is in balance. Two common faults with homemade fortified wines are (a) an unpleasant burning harshness in the mouth and (b) the predominance of the flavour of the fortifying spirit.

4 General

It is expected that the prize winners (1st, 2nd and 3rd) will be sampled by members during the Wine Festival.

5 Some Comments on the Presentation and Judging of Wines

The wine which will score the most points is one which is stable, well-balanced in all aspects, brilliantly clear, with a good colour (in the case of a red wine) and with a suitable bouquet and flavour. On a standard marking sheet, the maximum of 50 marks is divided up as follows.

Presentation = 2 Deduct 1 mark for a dirty cork or a dirty bottle.

Clarity = 4 Deduct 1 or 2 marks for ‘floaters’ or a precipitate or sediment. Award up to 3 points for a well cleared wine. Award 4 points for a really brilliant wine.

Colour = 4

Bouquet = 10 This should be vinous or fruity, or a mixture of both. It should not be too powerful.

Taste = 30 Marks should be deducted for acetification, metallic flavour, excessive sulphite, infection, mustiness of lack of vinousity.

Programme 2019/2020

Unless otherwise stated, meetings are held on Monday in the Moore Memorial Hall starting at 8:00pm

Monday, 15 April. TBC

Monday, 20 May. Commercial Wine Tasting of German/Austrian Wines

Monday, 17 June. Summer Walk (venue to be arranged)

Monday, 15 July. Barbeque at member’s home

Monday, 19 August. Open Evening.

Monday, 16 September. Visit to Bakewell Pudding Shop.

Monday, 21 October. Wines with Barry Stanmore

Monday, 19 November. Dronfield Handbell Ringers

Monday, 17 December. Christmas Dinner (venue to be arranged)

Monday, 20 January 2020. Burn’s Night

Monday, 17 February 2020. Annual General Meeting