An award-wining vineyard has become the first in the UK to apply for protected status for one of its wines in a smiliar way to that French vineyards have done for centuries.
Camel Valley Vineyard in Cornwall is applying for Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) recognition for its Darnibole wine, the EU-wide equivalent of the French Appellation d’origine controlee (AOC) which is given to products of a certain standard.
The vineyard near Bodmin, which was stated by Bob and Annie Lindo in 1989, has this year already trumped champagne-makers including Bollinger at the Bollecine del Mondo wine competition in Verona, Italy, with their sparkling “Cornwall Brut” wines.
If successful the PDO will apply to white wine made from Bacchus grapes grown in one small 3.5-acre section of the 24-acre vineyard which has “an ancient slate sub-soil” and “a steep south-facing slope”. Previous years’ vintages have already won International Wine Challenge awards.
Mr Lindo said: “All previous vintages of Darnibole Bacchus have won a Gold medal and critical acclaim, so there is something that we consider to be special about that small area. It produces intense, steely Bacchus with a delicate restrained aroma.
“What we are trying to say is that we have a bit of special ground here.”
Mr and Mrs Lindo now run the vineyard with son Sam, the three-time and current UK Winemaker of the Year.
They have set strict criteria for the wine covered by the PDO, with only one breed of grape, all picked by hand and turned into wine in their on-site winery, with no artificial sweeteners.
The wine is already used by double Michelin-starred chef Nathan Outlaw at his restaurant in nearby Rock.
The AOC system has been used by French vineyards for generations and there are thousands applying to various terraces of grapes across the country. It is also used for other products including Roquefort cheese and is strictly controlled by the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine, part of the French Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
It is based on the concept of “terroir”, that the combination of several factors, including soil, climate, grape variety and environment, will combine to give a wine a distinctive character that is marketable to buyers.
Similar systems are used in other wine producing countries like Spain and Italy and the PDO is a similar system used across the EU as a whole.
Other British foods and drinks which have achieved PDO status include blue and white Stilton cheeses and Cornish clotted cream.