A NORTH Yorkshire liqueur-maker is changing centuries of tradition by producing its own version of port.

Blending damsons from its orchards in Leavening with the fortified wine created exclusively in the Douro Valley in Portugal, Raisthorpe Manor Fine Foods has created the first British-made port.

Wine buffs have been so impressed with the first several thousand litres the firm has bottled, the drink became one of 153 products nationally out of 10,000 entered to land a hat-trick of gold stars at the 2014 Great Taste Awards, organised by the Guild of Fine Foods.

The competition’s judges, who include food and drink critics Nigel Barden and Charles Campion, said Raisthorpe Manor’s port – which has undergone three years of testing – had a gorgeous deep damson shade, lovely aromas of fruit skin with a hint of damson stone.

They continued saying: “The palate is fabulous – pure, clear, simple in the sense of having great fruit clarity, yet complex from the hint of fruit stone.

“Wonderful balance of sweetness – enough to carry the fruit flavours through to a glorious finish.”

Farmer’s wife Julia Medforth, who launched the firm in 2008, said: “We pride ourselves on sourcing ingredients from the farms, fields and hedgerows.”