The first vines were planted at Cornwall's Camel Valley by ex-RAF Pilot Bob Lindo and his wife Annie almost thirty years ago. Having started their agricultural journey with a herd of cattle, the couple grew more and more convinced that the sunny slopes of the valley in which their farm was located would prove a good home for grapes. In 1989, then, Bob and Annie planted their first eight thousand vines.
The couple, largely self-taught, spent the first few years practically living in their vineyard. This was proved worthwhile, however, when their first wine won a medal in the English Wine Competition. Camel Valley can lay claim not only to a multitude of awards, but also to having created Cornwall's first traditional-method sparkling wine. And while Bob Lindo is no longer at the helm, the Estate remains family-run, with the next generation, Sam, now running the vineyard.
The Estate produce a range of still and sparkling wines, but featured on The Oxford Wine Company's list is the Pinot Noir Brut Rosé. The wine is now produced as a Non-Vintage, but like other English sparkling wines was initially produced as a Vintage wine. The reason for this is that it takes several years to build up sufficient quantities of the reserve wine required to blend a consistent Non-Vintage wine, which will demonstrate the same house style year in, year out.
The wine has a glittering history of awards, including being named the Sparkling Rosé World Champion (ahead of Champagne Bollinger) for its 2009 vintage, and winning the International Wine Challenge Trophy. It is a pale salmon colour with the finest of mousse, and has a wonderfully balanced and complex elegance to it. Flavours of summer berries combine with the classic brioche notes of a traditional method sparkler to create this delicious wine.