While Cornwall is known for its stunning landscapes, beautiful beaches, and rich history, it's also become a hub for wine enthusiasts in recent years. With a number of wineries in Cornwall popping up across the county, the region has quickly established itself as a must-visit destination for wine lovers.
Many of Cornwall's wineries now offer guided tours of their vineyards, providing visitors with an opportunity to learn about the winemaking process and sample some of their finest Cornish wines. So, whether you're a seasoned wine connoisseur or simply looking for a fun day out, a visit to one of Cornwall's wineries is a must.
🍇 History of wine making in Cornwall
Nestled in the southwestern corner of the United Kingdom, Cornwall may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of winemaking. But this picturesque region has quickly made a name for itself in the world of wine. Since the first vineyard was planted in 1978, Cornwall has developed a reputation for producing high-quality, award-winning wines.
Thanks to its mild climate and unique geology, Cornwall is an ideal location for growing grapes. The region's long, sunny days and cool night time temperatures provide the perfect conditions for ripening certain types of grapes, while the slate and granite soils add minerality and complexity to the wines.
🍷 Top Wineries in Cornwall
Today, Cornwall is home to seven vineyards, each with its own unique character and style. From the crisp, refreshing sparkling whites of Camel Valley to the rich, full-bodied reds of Knightor Winery, there's something for every wine lover to enjoy.
Camel Valley Vineyard is Cornwall's most famous winery, established in 1989 by Bob and Annie Lindo, and now run by their son, Sam. The vineyard is located in the Camel Valley, near Bodmin, and has been producing wine for over 30 years.
The winery offers a range of wine-tasting experiences, including a daily guided vineyard tour at 10:30 am, as well as a Grand Tour and Tasting every Thursday at 5 pm. One of Camel Valley's most popular wines is their Camel Valley 'Cornwall' Brut, which is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Seyval Blanc grapes. This sparkling wine has won numerous international awards, including the International Wine Challenge Gold Medal in 2005.
In addition to their wine tasting experiences, Camel Valley also hosts special events throughout the year including cheese and wine tasting.
📍Camel Valley Ltd, Nanstallon, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL30 5LG
Opening Times: Monday - Friday 10 am-5 pm (later on Thursdays with the pre-booked Grand Tour). Closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
Website: Camel Valley
Knightor Winery, situated near St. Austell, is another top winery in Cornwall that has been producing high-quality wines since 2010. They specialise in producing English wines with a real focus on sustainability.
One of Knightor's most popular wines is Pinot Noir. This red wine is made from grapes grown on the south-facing slopes of the vineyard and the result is a smooth, fruity wine with hints of cherry and vanilla.
Knightor not only offers award-winning wines but also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, including their famous BBQs and winemaker's dinners. Moreover, Knightor is now a sought-after wedding venue that can accommodate up to 90 guests.
📍Knightor Winery, Trethurgy, Cornwall, PL26 8YQ
Opening Times: Wine Shop & Tastings: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 11 am - 4 pm.
Website: Knightor Winery
Polgoon Vineyard & Orchard
Polgoon Vineyard and Orchard, located in Penzance, is a family-run winery that produces a variety of award-winning wines, ciders, and juices (their Elderflower Presse is one of my favourites), with a big focus on sustainability.
Polgoon offers a range of wine-tasting experiences, including both guided and self-guided tours of the vineyard, as well as their popular sparkling wine tour every Saturday at 3pm.
One of Polgoon's most popular wines is their Rosé, with the fresh aromas of summer berries, wild strawberries, raspberries, and red cherries, it's perfect for a sunny afternoon in the Cornish countryside.
📍Polgoon Vineyard Ltd, Rosehill, Penzance, Cornwall, TR20 8TE
Opening Times: March - December 9 am-5 pm daily (Sundays 10 am). January & February 10 am-3 pm daily.
Website: Polgoon Vineyard
Bosue Vineyard, owned and run by Paul and Liz Sibley, is located in St Ewe, near St Austell, and produces a range of award-winning still and sparkling White and Rosé wines and brandy from Cornish grapes.
📍 Bosue Vineyard, St Ewe, St Austell, Cornwall, PL26 6EU
Opening Times: Open by prior appointment for wine sales and the collection of pre-ordered wines - phone 01726 843159.
Website: Bosue Vineyard
Trevibban Mill Vineyard
Trevibban Mill Vineyard is located in the heart of the Cornish countryside, near Padstow. The vineyard has over 11 acres of vineyards and produces a range of high-quality wines.
Trevibban Mill offers a range of wine-tasting experiences, including a grand walking tour on Saturdays at 10:30 am, and shorter guided tours of the vineyard on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
📍 Trevibban Mill Vineyard, Dark Lane, Nr Padstow, PL27 7SE
Opening Times: Tuesday - Saturday 12 noon- 5 pm through the summer months. For winter opening hours see their contact page.
Website: Trevibban Mill Vineyard
Looe Valley Vineyard
Looe Valley Vineyard was established in 2008 on a sunny site in the East Looe Valley in South East Cornwall by owners Charles Boney and Sue Brownlow.
After experimenting with a very small trial batch of wine in 2013, they have been producing and selling wine commercially since the 2014 harvest.
The vineyard welcomes visitors by arrangement, and Charles enjoys offering short tours to groups or individuals wanting to know more about the processes of viticulture (growing the grapes) and vinification (making wine). They offer tours and tastings every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from May – September and on other days by prior arrangement.
📍 Looe Valley Vineyard, Lower Locrenton, St Keyne, Looe, Cornwall PL14 4RN
Opening Times: Open from May to October every day 10 am-5 pm for sales, and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for tours at 2pm. During the winter sales and tours are by arrangement only.
Website: Looe Valley Vineyard
Polmassick Vineyard, situated in St. Austell, is a boutique winery that produces a crisp and dry refreshing white wine made from Seyval grapes and a refreshing dry Rose made from Pinot Noir grapes.
📍 Polmassick Vineyard, Polmassick, St. Ewe, St. Austell, Cornwall PL26 6HA
Opening Times: By prior appointment 01726 844427.
Website: Polmassick Vineyard
Frequently Asked Questions
The best time to visit wineries in Cornwall is during the summer months when the weather is warm and sunny. This is also the time when many wineries hold special events and festivals.
Cornwall's cool climate is well-suited for growing grapes such as Bacchus, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Seyval Blanc.
Many wineries in Cornwall are family-friendly and offer activities for all ages. However, some may have age restrictions for certain activities or tastings. It's best to check with each winery beforehand to ensure a suitable experience for your family.
Yes, all the wineries mentioned above have wine shops or tasting rooms where you can purchase their wines. Some also offer shipping options..
There isn't a specific, formalised wine route in Cornwall, but all Cornwall vineyards are in relatively close proximity to each other, with a particularly good cluster around the Bodmin and St Austell area. Research the wineries you're interested in and plan a route that suits your preferences and time constraints.
The price for wine tastings and tours in Cornwall can vary depending on the winery and the type of experience. Generally, prices can range from £10 to £40 per person. Check with each winery for specific pricing information.
Cornwall Wineries: A Recap
Cornwall's winemaking industry may be relatively young, but it has quickly established itself as a notable player on the world stage. With its mild, sunny climate and unique geology, Cornwall is an ideal location for growing grapes and producing high-quality wines.
So, whether you're a wine enthusiast or simply looking for a unique and enjoyable experience on your holiday, a visit to one of Cornwall's wineries is a must!
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