Last year, I'd been asked to participate as a judge in an international wine competition quite singular, the Euposia Wine Challenge, the only world championship of white sparkling wines produced with Metodo Classico. Obviously, I accepted, and so I had an amazing experience of tasting... In particular, I still remember an excellent, elegant and fresh sparkling wine from England, which that year won the Euposia Challenge. It was the 2016 Camel Valley, UK Cornwall, Brut Rosè Cuvée Raymond Blanc 2014. Thus, I'm glad to share a good news: the European Union has elevated Camel Valley’s ‘Darnibole’ vineyards to the highest level of Protected Designated Origin, (PDO). It's the first and, currently, only UK single vineyard to be awarded this accolade. As a Euposia Challenge' judge, I might say to have been among those who rewarded this wine producer for the first (see below). Here's the official press release:
"The UK Government awarded national protection to Camel Valley’s Darnibole in 2012 and after 5 years of scrutiny by the 28 Member States; the EU unanimously agreed on the award at a meeting held on 25th April 2017. They had been so impressed by the application that the area was extended during the process, from 7 acres to 28 acres of South facing land in the Camel Valley, all part of Camel Valley’s vineyards. Said Bob Lindo: “It has taken 5 years and the agreement of 28 Countries. We have had great support from Phil Munday (DEFRA), and MPS and MEPs, such as Anthea McIntyre, Dr. Ilya M. D. Maclean, (Exeter University) and the support of MWs, such as Derek Smedley.” Added Anthea McIntyre, MEP, said: "I was delighted to offer support in Brussels to the Camel Valley vineyard in its quest for PDO for Darnibole. It is a very fine wine and deserves to stand on a par with many of the biggest names in the trade.”
There are strict criteria involved: 100% Bacchus from Darnibole, no acidification or de-acidification, no sweetening, higher natural alcohol and hand picking (for harvesting). The wine must be made at the adjoining Camel Valley winery and most importantly, it must be compared with previous vintages to ensure typicity. Sam Lindo, Camel Valley’s Winemaker, added: “Most previous vintages of Darnibole Bacchus have won a Gold medal and critical acclaim, so there is something that we consider to be special about that small area. It produces intense, steely Bacchus with a delicate restrained aroma.”
Camel Valley Darnibole Bacchus is served with the tasting menu at the 2 Michelin star restaurants Nathan Outlaw, and The Ritz in London. Darnibole is exported, mainly to Nathan Outlaw’s Al Mahara restaurant at the Burj, Dubai.
About Camel Valley:
- Sam Lindo is 3 times UK Winemaker of the Year.
- Camel Valley has just been awarded the trophy for the ‘World’s best sparkling rose’ in Verona as outright winners in Bollicini Del Mondo twice
- Camel Valley was awarded the International Wine Challenge Trophy for Bacchus in 2009
- Other wines produced at Camel Valley within the demarcated Darnibole area:
- Cuvee Raymond Blanc – winner of 2016 ‘Best rose sparkling in the world’ at Bollicini del Mondo
- Multi Gold medal winning ‘Annie’s Anniversary’ Brut
- Darnibole Brut
- Rick and Jill Stein’s Seafood Restaurant 40th Anniversary brut
- Camel Valley Sparkling red