On 24 January 2017, the Club was privileged to spend an evening with Sam Lindo of the Camel Valley vineyards. Privileged not just because Sam is a three-times English Winemaker of the Year and immediate past chair of the UK Vineyard Association but because Camel Valley is a rather special site.
Camel Valley was set up by Sam’s father Bob and his mother Annie in 1989 just above the Camel River in Cornwall. Though they didn’t realise it at the time it was about the best possible spot for a vineyard with the lowest rainfall and the best protection from the sea influence. Unlike most of the UK’s vineyards it’s on loam (a mix of clay, sand and silt) rather than chalky soils. This, according to Sam, makes Camel Valley’s life ‘easier’ but it’s also part of a counter-cultural take on life. They aim for simplicity: pick, crush, press. Let the grapes do the work…
And it’s paid off! Camel Valley has gone head to head with the Champenois in competition and come off best. They won the first of their long list of gold medals in international wine competitions in 2005 up against the best Champagne can offer and have repeated that feat many times since, most notably for their Pinot Noir rosé wines.
... read more