Cornish Wine: Inside the Award-Winning Camel Valley Vineyard
Cornwall is fast becoming renowned for its ever-expanding list of award-winning wine producers. Whether you’re planning a picnic by Boconnoc’s lake or watching the weekend cricket on the pitch next to the Deer Park, there’s never a bad time to open a bottle. That’s especially true when you’re enjoying the world-class vintages from Camel Valley Vineyard.
Only a half-hour journey by car from Boconnoc, Camel Valley is a family-run vineyard that has operated out of this beautiful stretch of rural Cornwall for nearly thirty years. The largest vineyard in the region, Camel Valley has also won numerous awards at the International Wine Challenge, the UK Wine Awards, the Decanter World Wine Awards, and other respected national and international events.
The winery got its start in 1989, when former RAF pilot Bob Lindo and his wife Annie purchased an expansive tract of land and 8,000 vines. Camel Valley Vineyard raised its profile when it became the first winery in Cornwall to make “traditional method”sparkling wines, alongside its portfolio of still wines.
After growing interest and several major awards, Bob Lindo handed the reins over to his son, Sam Lindo, who had previously worked at a New Zealand winery and shared his passion for viticulture. Today, Camel Valley Vineyard is exporting its delectable Cornish wine both near and far—from Rick Stein’s fleet of Padstow restaurants to the Tate Modern and Hakkasan in London, and even to locations in Japan and beyond.
A trip to nearby Camel Valley is the perfect accompaniment for those enjoying a stay at Boconnoc. Learn more about the winery’s fascinating history, and, naturally, do some tasting on an official tour of the site.
Held on Wednesday evenings between April and October (and on additional Thursdays in August), Camel Valley’s Grand Tour & Tasting is ideal for wine lovers. The friendly team will lead you through the facilities and answer questions about the winemaking process before a guided tasting of five to six different vintages.
Then there’s the Guided Tour, which is held during the afternoon on Mondays through Fridays from April to September. This relaxed experience includes a trip around the winery, information about how grapes are harvested, plus a refreshing glass of Cornish wine.
In lieu of these two tour options, those hoping to make a day trip of it can also rent a bicycle at Wenford Bridge. Wend your way through country lanes, and reward yourself with a glass or shared bottle on Camel Valley’s spectacular, sun-filled terrace.
Camel Valley Vineyard today produces a fantastic portfolio of wines. The best known is the Cornwall Brut, the winery’s flagship sparkling bottle, which has delicious notes of hedgerow fruits and a creamy finish. The Pinot Noir Rosé Brut—voted the Best Sparkling Rosé in the World on several occasions—is another must-try. And while sparkling wines now dominate Camel Valley’s production, bottles like its Rosé, Bacchus Dry and Atlantic Dry are also an exceptional example of Cornish winemaking.