Fizz from Cornwall is best in the world

Fizz from Cornwall is best in the world

 by Becky Sheaves

If asked to name the world's best sparkling wine, you might have a stab at Bollinger. Or perhaps Pounds 160-a-bottle Cristal champagne, Victoria Beckham's favourite fizz.

But movers and shakers will now have to rethink their drinking habits after a tipple from Cornwall was named the world's best sparkling white wine.

Camel Valley's Pinot Noir Brut - which costs Pounds 29.95 a bottle - has seen off all-comers in a blind taste test at the World Sparkling Wine Championships in Verona, Italy. "To say there was a gasp when the results were announced is putting it mildly," said winemaker Bob Lindo, 60, who runs the Camel Valley vineyard with his son Sam, 33. "In fact the biggest gasp came from me. This is a huge honour, on a world scale." Sam and Bob already have form in the contest, held at Bottega del Vino, the legendary home of fine wines in Verona, Italy. They came second last year in the same class. "But actually to win is outstanding. This shows that if you know what you are doing, the Westcountry can make truly world-class wines," said Bob.

"The fact that it is judged blind really does show we've beaten everyone fair and square. To think that we beat Bollinger is just remarkable." The trophy comes at the end of an outstanding 12 months in which Camel Valley has won an International Wine Challenge Trophy, the English Wine Producer's Trophy, the Waitrose Rose Trophy and four Gold Medals including IWC and Decanter World Wine Award Gold Medals. It's a bumper crop, particularly when you consider just 20 years ago the slopes of the vineyard near Bodmin were grazed by sheep. "It was our family farm and we had 300-400 sheep on these slopes until 1989 when I started to plant vines," said Bob. "I had a feeling that the farm could produce wonderful grapes. But I don't think I ever foresaw we'd reach this level. "I've just been interviewed for both Vogue and Vanity Fair about the vineyard - not bad for a farmer from Cornwall." 

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