Why do you come to Cornwall? Is it the lure of the beaches and the rugged landscape that draws you here? Or is it the local food scene which you’ve heard so much about? Perhaps you plan to walk the coast paths, or have a go at an extreme water sport for the first time? I guess what I am trying to get at is that there are so many reasons to visit the beautiful Cornish coast that it’s hard to choose just one. But chances are that you won’t have considered coming here solely to discover the Cornish wine scene – am I right?
For those of us in the know, locals and visitors alike, Cornish wine is far from a secret, and so here is a helpful guide and insight into some of the vineyards that you should be visiting on your next holiday.
One of Cornwall’s most notable vineyards is Camel Valley, located halfway between Wadebridge and Bodmin. Established in 1989 by Bob and Annie Lindo, and now joined by their son Sam, the Lindo family have clearly set an enviable path for others to follow.
The beautiful suntrap terrace which overlooks the vineyard is a picture perfect setting to sit and enjoy a glass of their famous sparkling wine. Their wines (both still and sparkling) have won many national and international awards over the past three decades and as a result they can be found in many prestigious places all over the country and beyond.
Did you know that Fortnum and Mason’s own label English sparkling wine is none other than Camel Valley Cornwall Brut? And if you happen to find yourself on a British Airways flight flying First Class (lucky you!) then you may be served a glass of Camel Valley too. You can reach the vineyard by car or an easy cycle ride along the Camel Trail.
Liz and Engin Mumcuoglu own and run Trevibban Mill Vineyard which sits on the outskirts of Padstow. The land started its transformation into a vineyard and orchard in 2007, and after planting 11,000 vines in 2008, they have been open to the public for wine tasting and tours since 2015.
Although fairly new to the scene they have achieved great success in the form of gold and silver awards at the International Wine and Spirits competition with their wide range of red and white still and sparkling wines. Their wines are either named after local beach beauty spots (e.g. Harlyn and Constantine) or pay homage to their onsite flock of Southdown sheep (Black Ewe and Black Ram) who roam the vineyard providing free gardening services and lots of wool.
The vineyard is a peaceful and idyllic setting to sample Trevibban’s delicious wine, overlooking the colourful wild flowers and green fields that surround Padstow. Trevibban Mill is a three mile drive from Padstow.
Towards the south coast is Knightor Winery, located near the Eden Project and St Austell. Knightor is set in a beautiful courtyard surrounded by converted old farm buildings and has a romantic, rustic feel about the place.
Owned by Adrian Derx, Knightor produces a fab range of wines grown at their separate vineyards located on the Roseland Peninsula. The location itself was transformed back in 2011 when Adrian purchased the derelict farm buildings to convert to a winery to produce wine from his own grapes.
The courtyard setting is an amazing place to try some of their award winning white, red and sparkling wine. Did you know that we can get some fantastic red wine in Cornwall too? Knightor produces three different styles that are well worth tasting when you visit. Knightor is easily accessible by car.
A little further past St. Austell, in a small village called St Ewe, sits Bosue Vineyard, owned and run by Paul and Liz Sibley who initially started planting in 1996. This boutique style vineyard and winery is a little off the beaten track, which adds to its charm and is worth seeking out to meet Paul and the family and have a taste of their ‘Cornish wine from Cornish vines’.
Bosue is famous for both its still and sparkling wines, and you can enjoy a glass or two while overlooking the beautiful lush green valley and their vines from their newly refurbished winery and seating area. To get there by car, follow signs to St. Ewe and then look out for signage to ‘Lower Barn’.
Down towards the far tip of Cornwall, surrounded by dramatic coastline and just outside Penzance, is Polgoon Vineyard and Orchard. Polgoon is a family run vineyard established by John and Kim Coulson who first started producing Polgoon wine in 2006.
John and Kim first won an award for the “Best Still Rosé in the UK” and as such Polgoon has continually grown in success year on year, winning numerous awards for their still and sparkling wine. They produce a fabulous range of white, red, and rosé, making it hard to decide what to try first! They run their own tours and tastings throughout the spring and summer months and are well worth a visit when you are in the area.
Of course if you don’t want to be designated driver for the day when visiting these wonderful vineyards and you want to visit more than one in a day, then there is always another option in the form of Cornish Wine Tours.
They run tours daily from Padstow, and can pick guests up and take them to three vineyards to sample the award winning wine at each location, as well as enjoying a three course lunch at one of them as part of a full day tour. Guests can sit back and relax while Cornish Wine Tours do all the driving and guide you from vineyard to vineyard – what could be better?!