Last week we visited Polgoon vineyard, which is just outside Penzance. It is the most Southerly vineyard on the UK mainland (the Isles of Scilly has two vineyards). They are certified vegan by the Vegetarian Society and have an impressive range of wines and ciders.
Kim and John (owners and winemakers) were incredibly welcoming, and showed us around the vineyard and winery when we met with them.
As we visited in January, they were currently pruning the vines before they start to bud. This is a physical time consuming process. Kim told us that when they started out they planted just one field of vines and didn’t use any machinery at all… Impressive!
Last year’s harvest was fermenting in large tanks, which we were shown. John told us that they use cold fermentation because it slows down the fermentation process and helps to retain fruit flavours in the wine. Judging by what we tasted, I’d say this has been highly successful. They then add bentonite clay (fining agent) to clear and stabilise the wine before bottling.
After being shown around the vineyard and winery, we then tasted a variety of their wines. They have a good selection and try to produce the same types of wine each year for continuity. I am looking forward to trying their 2018 vintage when it is ready and tasting the impact of last year’s exceptional summer. They are also producing Cornwall’s first Sauvignon Blanc, which is quite exciting as this is one of my favourite white wines.
My personal favourites (in no particular order) are:
- Rondo red wine
- Bacchus white wine
- Pinot Noir rosé brut sparkling wine
This is a red wine made from Rondo grapes, which are dark-skinned hybrid grapes that are suited to colder climates. It’s the first time I have enjoyed a red English wine as I usually find them watery and lacking in flavour.
This Rondo has an amazing fruity smell, is medium-bodied and did not disappoint on tasting. It was full of cherry and black fruit flavours, with a peppery after taste and soft tannins. The tasting wetted our appetite, so we bought a bottle and enjoyed it later in the evening!
I suspect their gentler climate due to their Southern location combined with the cold fermentation and John’s obvious winemaking skills is what makes this a very special wine.
This is a white wine made from Bacchus grapes, again a variety that is suited to cooler climates. This Bacchus is a light, well balanced wine with fresh fruity flavours. I can’t wait for the weather to improve so I can enjoy a glass in the sun!
Finally, their sparkling rosé made from Pinot Noir grapes. This is a very delicate wine in a champagne style. It is a dry wine with tangy fruit flavours and hints of sweetness. A really good example of an English sparkling wine.
We are pleased to be working with Polgoon vineyard and will feature their wines in our first Subscription box.