Whilst many producers in England have been making wine for a number of years, it appears now that the palates of us English folk are finally suited to, or seeking, the crisp, cool varieties which suit our ever changing, unpredictable, cool climate. This means good business for many English winemakers, and indeed there has been a particular rise in the popularity of English sparkling wine.
Whether its the increased patriotism of a nation following the Royal Wedding, Queen’s Jubilee and Olympics, or that awkward episode of The Apprentice last year which has increased our interest in English wine, it’s fantastic news for an otherwise underdog of the wine world.
One producer which has revelled in this success is Camel Valley. Last week I was lucky enough to spend a couple of gloriously sunny days in Cornwall and dropped in to the Camel Valley vineyards tucked away in the gorgeous Cornish countryside. Thanks to the perks of our jobs, my colleague and I were fortunate to meet with winemaker Sam Lindo for a quick chat (and taste!) about Camel Valley and their recent successes.
While they consistently produce fantastic sparkling wines, their range also includes 2011 Camel Valley Bacchus, 2010 Camel Valley Atlantic Dry, a rose and a sparkling red. With a beautiful spot in Cornwall, sun drenched slopes (when we went anyway!), soil and climate suited to the grape varieties – Bacchus, Reichensteiner, Chardonnay, Rondo to name a few – and simple, modern winemaking techniques (no oak, only sleek, incredibly shiny, stainless steel), Camel Valley has a simple balance which works.
My favourite (and the one I purchased!) was 2010 Camel Valley ‘Cornwall’ Pinot Noir Rose Brut which won Gold at the 2012 International Wine Challenge and was reported by Jane MacQuitty in The Times as ‘My favourite English rosé – and everyone else’s it seems… Gorgeous’.
Pale, salmon-pink in colour with a strawberry and raspberry nose, extending to a fruity, yet delicate palate whilst being effervescent but not aggressive. Serve chilled as an aperitif or with pork or chicken dishes.
Many thanks to Sam Lindo for taking the time from his busy schedule to chat to us.