Island mead scoops a silver medal in the US

Chairman Keith Stephenson, centre, with fellow directors Ian Robinson, left, and Christopher Walwyn-James at the Lindisfarne Winery.
Chairman Keith Stephenson, centre, with fellow directors Ian Robinson, left, and Christopher Walwyn-James at the Lindisfarne Winery.

A renowned drink made on Holy Island has won a silver medal in the prestigious Los Angeles International Wine Competition.

The accolade for Lindisfarne Mead, sold as Lindisfarne Original in America, comes relatively early in the company’s push into the USA market.

The LA International Wine Competition is now in its 77th year and attracted more than 3,000 entries from 23 countries this year.

“We are really delighted,” said Keith Stephenson, chairman of the Harry Hotspur Holdings Group that includes Lindisfarne Ltd and sister companies Alnwick Brewery and Alnwick Rum.

“We are very proud to produce one of the region’s iconic drinks that has such a history and there is no doubt this silver-medal win will raise our profile and open up new sales avenues for us in the States for all the group’s products.

“We have invested considerable time and effort into acquiring the licences we need to sell our Lindisfarne Mead range in the USA – the Original Mead, which has now sold more than two million bottles; the recently-added Pink Mead, a big seller for weddings; and a Spiced Mead.

“In fact, within days of our award being announced, we were contacted by a distributor in New York who wants to discuss selling our range of Alnwick Rums, not only in the USA but globally.

“These are undoubtedly challenging times for UK businesses so we are particularly pleased to be establishing ourselves in the USA as well as in Europe and across the UK.”

The company’s marketing in the States makes much of the drink’s exclusivity and manufacture on a tidal island known as the cradle of Christianity.

Lindisfarne Mead is a blend of honey and fermented grape juice that uses locally drawn waters and is fortified to pack a punch at 14.5 per cent ABV.