The past few years have been challenging for everyone. Brexit & Covid-19 have been the focus of news threads for what seems like forever. However, one thing that has come from these two major events is a focus on looking inwards. Buying British and ‘stay-cations’ are becoming more present and Cornish wine and vineyards should be top of your list.
Cornwall is home to some of the best vineyards in the UK, with more than 50,000 tourists visiting Cornish vineyards every year. So, let’s look into the vineyards and Cornish wine which are not to be missed!
How many vineyards are there in Cornwall?
Cornwall planted its first vineyard in 1978 and there are currently eight vineyards in producing wine. Compared to an established wine region like Bordeaux, the UK is comparatively new on the wine-making scene. Bordeaux vineyards date back to the Romans where there are around 7,500 vineyards in operation today.
This gives the feeling that the Cornish wine industry is at the start of something exciting. The vineyards are young, but already making a name for themselves. The list Cornish vineyards currently selling wine in Cornwall are as follows: Bosue, Camel Valley, Knightor, Looe Valley, Polmassick, Polgoon & Trevibban Mill.
Cornwall is undoubtedly one of the most popular holiday destinations within the UK. Luckily, for all you oenophiles, Cornish Wine is also some of the most sought after wine in the UK.
What type of wine is made in Cornwall?
One of the things which Cornwall can be proud of is the rich diversity in types of Cornish wine available to consumers. Cornish winemakers today are producing everything from Rose to still red and white and sparkling wines. However note that over two thirds of wine produced in Cornwall is sparkling. This is consistent with the rest of the UK where 71.2% of all wine produced in the UK is sparkling.
Cornwall is incredibly bio-diverse. Woodlands, sun-kissed valleys and long coast lines are all present. Due to this diverse terroir, a diverse range of wines can be expected.
Camel Valley is one of the most esteemed vineyards in Cornwall. Due to it being farther inland than other vineyards, it is home to the warmest and driest climate available to Cornish vinters. They’ve won awards stretching back to 1993, particularly excelling in sparkling wine in both white and rose variations.
Then, there’s the sheltered and bio-diverse wooded valleys on Trevibban Hill. Here, we can find a mix of organic orange and rose wine, Seyval Blanc and Bacchus white wine and even some Pinot Noir still reds.
The Polgoon Vineyard is close to England’s south-westerly point. This coastal vineyard with mineral rich soil began winning awards with Sparkling Pinot Noir Rose and has recently found similar success with both Bacchus and Sauvignon Blanc.
Let’s look into these vineyards in greater detail in the next section.
Top 3 Vineyards in Cornwall
Camel Valley is a multi-award winning Cornish wine producer. They have been operating since 1989 and were recently awarded the ‘Royal Warrant’. It is the first English wine producer to receive this award, which indicates that the goods and services of the institution are supplied to the royals themselves. If you decide to visit Camel Valley you can have a glass of wine on their sun terrace or take a tour of the vineyards. It’s setting is picturesque with the River Camel running alongside. Camel Valley should be high priority on your list of vineyards to visit during your stay in Cornwall.
Again a producer of award-winning Cornish Wine, this working-farm situated on the Northern coast of Cornwall began making wine in 2008. It is a forward-thinking producer looking to eradicate the use of sulphites in their wine. With a commitment to sustainability and biodiversity, this would be an excellent choice to visit if you wished to tour and learn more about their practices, or simply kick-back and enjoy a glass of wine, while enjoying nature.
Another Cornish vineyard and you guessed it, more award-winning wines to discover. Polgoon made the jump from fish merchant to vintner in 2006 and after some tumultuous harvests has consistently established itself as a producer of excellent Cornish wine. Located 1 mile inland from the Penzance Promenade, Polgoon is a beautiful place to grab a quick lunch and stroll through another fantastic Cornish vineyard.
Wine Tastings in Cornwall
You do not have to look far to find a great wine tasting in Cornwall. Better still all of the previously mentioned vineyards offer wine tastings. However, it may be hard to choose which one you want to check out. Luckily, you needn’t limit yourself!
Cornish Wine Tours offers a number of great options which allow you to visit multiple vineyards and wineries in a single setting, but at your own pace. Enjoy both full and half-day all inclusive Cornish wine-tastings, with the option of finishing your day with a luxury dinner.
The best time to visit a Cornish Vineyard
As with most things in life, personal preference will play a large part in deciding when you want to visit Cornwall. However you need to be aware of two key factors to consider when planning a visit to Cornwall. They are the availability of accommodation and the weather.
Spring (between March and May) can be a good compromise between decent weather and general busyness. You may run the risk of the odd shower, or cold evening, but this is the UK.
Summer will be your greatest chance of securing sunshine. However, this will be when Cornwall as a whole will be at its busiest. If you are thinking of going in the Summer months, then it would be prudent to book well ahead to avoid any disappointments. If you are insistent on visiting in the summer then we suggest locking in accommodation by the end of March and restaurants and Cornish Vineyard wine tastings by the end of April.
As for the best time to go – Autumn, (September specifically), is it. This is the time when the Summer crowds have died down. Leaving more wine for you! It also boasts great weather, meaning time spent strolling through vineyards is very much an option.
Cornwall has a lot to offer and it is a great place to visit if you are looking for sea, sand and some delicious Cornish wine. If you can’t wait to get to the vineyards themselves, then here are some options to get you in the mood.
If Cornwall is too far afield, or you’re keen to see what else is out there in the world of UK wine, there are many more options throughout the UK.
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