When it comes to artisan beers, small-batch wines and craft spirits, Cornwall is leading the way. Its rich soil, mild climate, salty air and coastal botanicals combine to create a heady mix of flavours that makes every sip of a Cornish tipple unique. Innovative brewing, vinification and distilling in the Duchy has elevated its drinks offering to new heights. Join us, as we take a tour of some of our favourites…
Knightor’s four acres of vineyards grow above St Austell Bay on the Roseland peninsula, where the cool climate lends itself perfectly to light, fruity wines with excellent acidity that are as good as an aperitif as they are paired with food. Low in sulphates and vegan friendly, the wines have a natural sweetness derived purely from the grapes. Fruit from the Roseland, as well as from Knightor’s Seaton vineyard on the south Cornish coast and other carefully selected English grapes, is used to make multiple blends and single varietal short-run wines. Knightor also produces its own English Vermouth, flavoured with local herbs for an intense flavour and the ultimate ingredient for the perfect Cornish cocktail.
Family run since 1989, Camel Valley produces award-winning, world-class wines from grapes harvested from its sun-drenched slopes. Whilst Camel Valley’s approach to winemaking is a modern one, traditional vineyard practices are still honoured. This results in a stable of wines that is stocked by the likes of Waitrose and Fortnum and Mason and graces the wine lists of the very best restaurants across Cornwall. Daily guided tours are a chance to wander through the vines and include a wine flight of four of Camel valley’s flagship wines, or if you just fancy wiling away an hour on the sunny terrace then wine is sold by the glass throughout the day.
Launching their microbrewery in former stables in Grampound in the summer of 2016, and expanding in 2019 to include cask deliveries for beer festivals, pubs, and clubs, Tremethick brew a selection of delicious craft ales. From their signature, crisp easy to drink Pale Ale, inspired by brewer Dean's travels to New Zealand, to a unique RED IPA, whose malt is balanced by firm pine and gentle citrus hops, with spicy notes and a kaleidoscope of fruits, Tremethick are not afraid to push the boundaries of brewing. They offer local delivery within a ten-mile radius or you can order and collect from the brewery.
Every drop of spirit at Colwith is produced delicately from scratch on a single estate. As the region’s first plough to bottle distillery, Colwith’s heritage spans five generations of farming history. Nestled just five miles from the coast, between the old market town of Lostwithiel and fishing port of Fowey, a few carefully chosen potato varieties are harvested to match seasonality. Relying on local, national, and international experts to supply and support the distillery, with everything from hand-made pot stills made in Portugal through to blackcurrants from an octogenarian farmer in Lanlivery, the resulting Aval Dor gins and vodkas are a true taste of Cornwall.
Producing award-winning still and sparkling white and rosé wines and brandy from Cornish grapes, Bosue is a family run vineyard in St Ewe, less than a mile from the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Growing Rondo, Regent, Solaris, Johanniter, Phoenix and Orion grape varieties, all of which love the local climate and flourish on the gentle south facing slopes that rise from a shallow wooded valley of oak, willow, hazel and hawthorn. The four white varieties produce a dry wine, full of aroma and flavour and with a low acidity, while the two red varieties are blended to make a fresh rosé.
Handcrafted from scratch, using only fresh apples from their own orchard and others carefully selected close by, part of the press is bottled young to produce the award-winning Castledore – a clean, refreshing medium dry and lightly carbonated cider. The remainder is bottled and aged over a three-year process resulting in Fowey Valley's flagship brut Vintage Sparkling Cider. Branching out into spirits, locally sourced west country fruit is pressed and fermented to produce a base spirit, used for a collection of gins, vodkas and oak-aged cider sprits.
After experimenting with a very small trial batch of wine from their first crop in 2013, owners Charles Boney and Sue Brownlow have been producing and selling wine commercially ever since, either at the winery or via the online shop. Adding to their original delicate white Bacchus, with its flavours of crisp apple and hints of grapefruit, they now offer a sparkling Solaris Brut which uses a traditional bottle-fermented method, and a delicious Cornish Kir bursting with blackcurrant fruit.