Most of our blogs are focussed on great days out in Cornwall for families with children but increasingly we are having group stays with ages ranging from 0-90! This means that there are some days when babysitting can be arranged and parents get some child free time to head off and do something on their own. Last week I discovered the very place – Camel Valley Vineyard at Nanstallon, near Bodmin. It’s about 30 minutes’ drive from Bosinver and as you are most definitely going to be drinking, I suggest taking a taxi.
Camel Valley Vineyard is a small family run business which is world famous in the wine world, beating some of the top French Champagne houses and winning the world Sparkling Wine championships in Verona in 2016. The guided tour can be pre booked on their website and ours started at 10.30am, lasting about an hour.
The small farm has a range of sloping south facing fields which tend to dry out in the summer and are hopeless for grazing but ideal for wine growing. Bob and Annie Lindo were sheep farming to start with but soon realised that could not generate enough income on their small acreage, especially as their south facing sloping fields dried out and turned brown in the summer. They took the brave decision to have a go at winemaking, planted 8000 vines by hand and the rest is history.
The tour took us into the fields where the vines were showing signs of vigorous growth and were told how important accurate pruning is. In fact nobody else bar Annie has ever pruned the vines in her patch!
The tour then proceeded to the barn and we went through the process of making wine, which can take up to 3 years.
Our guide pointed out that the mechanised system we saw was very different from Bob and Annie’s early days when everything was experimental and most of the work done by hand, producing very sore wrists and shoulders……Now on to the tasting. The farm shop has a delightful veranda and we were lucky enough to pick a beautiful sunny day to enjoy it. Four different wines were served, accompanied by clear descriptions of the vine and the flavour. I fell in love with the sparkling Pinot noir but I liked them all to be fair.
And that was it, sitting in the sunshine, drinking wine with good friends, what more would you want on a Friday?
Tours can be booked via their website and if you want to chat, it’s 0120877959. Definitely not a place for children or dogs but my idea of heaven for one of the best days out in Cornwall for grown ups!