A HEREFORDSHIRE company, the new brainchild of entrepreneur William Chase, has won a national award for one of the drinks it produces.

Willy's Apple Cider Vinegar, based in the village of Little Miracle, near Ledbury, won a Golden Fork Award at the 2021 Great Taste Awards.

Willy's won the accolade for its apple balsamic vinegar, which has not yet been launched to the public.

The company was founded by Herefordshire businessman William Chase, with Willy's being the third brand he has launched in the county.

He launched Tyrells from his family’s farm in 2001. After receiving numerous awards for taste and quality of crisps, Tyrells was sold for £30 million to Langholm Capital in 2008.

The sale of Tyrells allowed him to launch Chase Distillery, which makes potato vodka, gin and cider.

In 2020, the distillery was sold to global drinks brand Diageo as he launched his newest brand.

Mr Chase was over the moon with Willy’s award win.

"I’m really overwhelmed with the response for our organic apple balsamic vinegar and so pleased with our 3* Gold Great Taste Award," he said.

"I feel it’s one of the finest products I have created here in Hereford."

Just a month before it claimed the Golden Fork, the apple balsamic vinegar won Great Taste's three star award.

The Great Taste awards was established by the Guild of Fine Food in 1994 and is a food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers.

Willy's was one of just 16 Golden Fork winners at this year's awards, selected from 14,000 entries.

To find this year's winners, 355 judges blind-tasted the entries.

The judges were a mix of food critics, chefs, restaurateurs, retail buyers, cooks, producers and a host of food writers.

Reviewing the product, one of the judges said: “A sublime vinegar that is masterfully balanced in flavour and texture to deliver amazing sweetness and acidity.

"This is a truly outstanding product – we found ourselves lost for words tasting – we do not see how it could be further improved. An absolute delight.”