On the dreamy sun drenched slopes of Camel Valley in Cornwall, Bob and Annie Lindo transformed their recently purchased farm into an international multi award-winning vineyard producing exceptional British wine.
The defining moment for the couple was undoubtedly when Bob Lindo (an ex-RAF serviceman), and his wife Annie decided to purchase a farm in the lush green Camel Valley. The farm and the young family flourished and the couple were soon farming sheep and cattle. Something was still missing though, every summer the pair would watch the sun saturated slopes turn brown and wondered if grape vines might thrive there…
After taking viticulture courses and reading every vine and wine book the pair could get their hands on, they planted their very first eight thousand vines in 1989 and built a winery. Equipping the space with the best equipment they could afford.
However, as with all great things, creating award winning wine was not easy at first: ‘We practically lived in the vineyard, doing all the work by hand, and when it came to harvest time it was just us and a few friends for picking, then Bob would stay up all night crushing the grapes. But we loved it, always striving for perfection in the vineyard and the winery, and then we won a medal in the national English Wine competition for our first wine, so we knew we were doing something right.‘ – Annie Lindo.
Bob and Annie’s hard work has since been deservedly paid back with a multitude of prestigious awards at both national and international level. Camel Valley won an International Wine Challenge Gold Medal for Camel Valley ‘Cornwall’ sparkling wine in 2005 (which is arguably one of their most distinguished).
“I was so proud to have won this, as our wine was up against the finest wines in the whole world and was the only gold medal awarded to a non-Champenoise wine. I really felt that I had set the standard for generations to come” – Bob Lindo. Now years later Camel Valley has a second generation winemaker in the form of Bob and Annie’s son Sam. Hardworking Sam strives for perfection with a deep rooted passion for the vineyard.
For wine lovers who are curious at heart, Camel Valley offers two unique tours to choose from. The first and most exciting (in our view) is the grand tour and tasting. This takes place every Wednesday at 5pm between April and October at 5pm. A winemaker will personally guide guests through the vineyard and winery process answering any questions. The tour is then followed by a minimum tasting of 5 wines which you can purchase afterwards by the bottle or crate.
The second tour available is the guided tour. Taking place at 2pm Monday-Friday April- September (more dates may be added), the tour explains the growing season of the vine and how they are transformed into award winning wine with a tour of the vineyard, followed by a glass of wine to top off the experience!
The really lovely thing about Camel Valley is that you can just turn up and relax on the terrace with a glass of fizz in the sunshine or peruse the shop. Which is why we think it’s a must visit. To discover more about Camel Valley or to find out where you can purchase their delicious wine visit the website here.
Images, Camel Valley Wines