6th June 2014
Camel Valley have been producing award-winning, world-class wines in an idyllic setting on sun-drenched slopes near the famous Camel River in a beautiful corner of Cornwall since 1989.
When ex-RAF pilot Bob Lindo and his wife Annie planted their first eight thousand vines in 1989, they never dreamed of the phenomenal success they would achieve within 2 decades. They had bought their farm in the heart of the Cornish countryside several years earlier, seeking a change from service life and the perfect place to bring up their young family, and initially farmed sheep and cattle. Each summer they watched the grass turn brown on the sun-drenched slopes of the Camel Valley, and wondered if vines might enjoy such an aspect.
Bob ‘did a vintage’ in Germany and both took viticulture courses and read every vine and wine book they could find. They built a winery and equipped it with the finest equipment they could afford. Annie is the first to admit the early years weren’t easy: ‘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.’
More awards followed over the years, with Camel Valley wines consistently winning medals at both national and international level. Now the second generation winemaker is hard at work at Camel Valley. Sam Lindo, a maths graduate who had seemed destined for a career in the city, instead decided to make his life in Cornwall and returned to the family farm eight years ago. He has gone on to win many awards over the years including Trophy for ‘Best International Traditional Method Sparkling Wine’ in 2010.
Written by Sam Lindo
Glass of Bubbly
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