From Vine to Glass
The UK is experiencing an exciting and delectable time right now. For never have we had so much success with our home grown talent, specifically, our wine produce.
Not commonly known for the most fruitful of crops due to the oft inclement weather, Britain is now producing luscious grapes with their own cool, crisp, unique edge.
Vineyards around England in particular are making their mark; from Nyetimber to Chapel Down, Tillingham and Astley, there is much to celebrate in the Great British grape!
Of course, these vineyards have been established for some time, but recently, the tide has turned and people are now tuning in to the notes
and nuances of our home grown vintages. What took us so long?
Cornwall itself is punch drunk on fabulous wines coming out of the county and Mr & Mrs Clarke felt duty-bound to guide you through
some of the South West coast’s most delicious wine notes and aromas.
Camel Valley, Bodmin
Founded in 1989, Camel Valley has been producing award-winning wines in its idyllic setting near to the Camel River, which rises on the edge of Bodmin Moor. Bob Lindo and wife Annie started with a modest 8000 vines and in the two decades since have seen spectacular wines rise up from the earth and immeasurable success to go with it. The land was initially used for farming sheep and cattle, but, as the green grass turned dry and tan under the sun’s rays, they saw an opportunity to give the vines a go. With the vineyard, a small passionate team, a state-of-the-art winery and son Sam Lindo, in place as head Winemaker, they now produce still and sparkling varieties with aplomb. Sam’s expertise garnered in New Zealand is bringing fruitful knowledge to Camel Valley, where we have it on good authority that the sparkling wine is “the bomb”. Enough said.
Visit: The shop is open for bottle and (ahem) case sales Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.
Experience: The unique Camel Valley tours where you’ll find yourself nose-deep on the terrace.
Quaff: Did we mention, the sparkling wine? Chardonnay Brut, Demi-Sec or Pinot Noir Brut. Take your pick.
Family owned, working vineyards are not ten a penny and Trevibban Mill, set down a campion-lined Cornish lane is super special. Vines, apple trees and English Southdown sheep all call this place home. Trevibban was established in 2008 by Engin and Liz Mumcuoglu. Their vision? To make high-quality sparkling and still wine including bottling, disgorging and labelling, all on site. Today, the vineyard is at the cutting edge of tech and innovation, including working to eradicate the use of sulphites in all wines. With backgrounds in economics and physics, Liz and Engin are a powerhouse of talent and dedicated proponents of great wine. The unique land – 6.5 acres of it – has a disused slate quarry on site, lending to a shillet soil full of slate with a little spa stone. For those who don’t know how this affects the vine and wine – tours and stays are options in beautiful Padstow, with lodges currently under construction.
Visit: There is a tasting room and balcony, open Wednesday – Sunday 12 – 5pm or online wine shop for your weekend drinks order.
Experience: The Grand Walking Tour at three hours, includes lunch and tutored tasting. Where sensible shoes.
Quaff: The Rock Rosé for hints of strawberries and cream
Knightor is a boutique winery and wedding venue for those betrothed foodies who want to up the ante during their wedding breakfast. Set above St Austell Bay, Knightor is not far from the Eden Project. Four historic granite barns and four acres of Cornish hedgerows make up the land, with a pasture and orchard for good measure. Limited production is the key here, with Knightor producing using grapes grown in their vineyards in Portscatho and Seaton on the south coast. There is also an English Vermouth produced, should that take the fancy. The ultimate in hipster terminology applies here, ‘craft’ and ‘artisan’ leap off the tongue, but Knightor prefers to be known as an innovator, uncompromising in its dedication to wine producing and committing to no more than 2000 bottles for single varietal wines. Light, fruity, low abv that are created as delicious aperitifs and made divine in their food pairings.
Visit: The wine shop is open Wednesday – Sunday, 11am – 4pm. (Tasting available)
Experience: Tours run from May – October, every Sunday, for groups, or some alone time with the vine.
Quaff: A sucker for a Bacchus? They’ve got four varieties.
This vineyard and orchard set in Penzance has a big focus on sustainability as part of its ethos. Sourcing and producing locally, Polgoon aims to be as minimal in environmental impact as possible. The team takes great care to preserve its planet, all while producing vibrant, distinguished wines, ciders and juices. Award-winners, naturally, its Sauvignon Blanc 2018 won Gold at the Independent English Wine Awards 2019. Polgoon’s Vine House Kitchen (with outdoor dining) is where you can enjoy local produce alongside a delicious wine or cider. Local crab? Charcuterie platter? Settle in and grab a snack before heading off on a wine tour where there is much to discover. Self-guided or with an expert at hand you will savour the scents of the orchards as well as taking a look at the production process. Dogs are welcome on lead around the vineyards, for those four-legged connoisseurs of a carafe.
Visit: Wine shop is open and online so you never miss out.
Experience: Self-guided or expert-led tours are available.
Quaff: That award-winning SB.
Alas, supermarket wine will never be the same.