Raymond Blanc backs Camel Valley Vineyard’s PDO claim for Cornish wine
Camel Valley Vineyard in Cornwall has moved a step closer to getting EU protected status for its wines – and has celebrity backing in the form of top chef Raymond Blanc.
The winery at Nanstallon outside Bodmin has filed for Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) for its award-winning wines and its application is now with the European Commission.
Vineyard founder Bob Lindo, who runs Camel Valley with wife Annie and son Sam, were backed in their bid by legendary Frenchman Blanc, who tweeted: “The owners of Camel Valley, a fantastic sparkling wine is asking the EU for protected Cornish wine status. Let us reinvent our regions.”
Camel Valley is applying for PDO recognition, the EU-wide equivalent of the French Appellation d’origine controlee (AOC) which is given to products of a certain standard, for its Darnibole wine.
The vineyard was stated by Bob and Annie in 1989 and last year 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.
Bob tweeted last week that the PDO had also been widened to include another secion of vineyard.
In a series of tweets he wrote: “Camel Valley PDO has passed DEFRA lawyer scrutiny and is with EU DOCG Committee. “UK’s first ‘Grand Cru’ soon.
“Most pleasing of all, area was increased following consultation to include ‘Annie’s Vineyard’, continuously pruned by only Annie for 24 years.
“The UK wine fraternity should embrace PDOs, or lose the names to others. Our geographic names, like Truro are used in other countries.”
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.