Camel Valley takes global pink crown

Winning winemakers, Bob & Sam Lindo with Oz ClarkeSparkling rosé has a strong future in England says the UK’s Winemaker of the Year, Sam Lindo of Camel Valley in Cornwall. Having just been awarded the International Wine Challenge’s Sparkling Rosé Trophy for his Pinot Noir 2008 ahead of rivals in Champagne and across the world, Lindo said that the whole family was “delighted” and admitted that the news “was still sinking in”.

“I really honestly believe that rosé can become synonynous with England,” he told DrinkBritain.com. “There’s more raspberry and strawberry flavours.”

But what was it about his rosé that so impressed the judges? “The balance,” said Lindo. “And it was probably a bit more subtle.”

Alongside "really gentle crushing", Lindo splits the pressed juice, with the end cuvée going into his still rosé. The first portion has more acidity, lighter flavour and lighter colour, he says, factors which contribute to the final product.

The secret, he told DrinkBritain.com, was the fact that somewhat counterintuitively, the weather wasn’t too warm. Like apples and gooseberries, grapes benefit when they have a chance to ripen more slowly. That means that by the times the sugars are ripe and the acidity has softened a little, the phenols are also ripe – something that doesn’t always happen in warmer climes – and there’s no bitterness from the skins.

English wine expert, Stephen Skelton MW, agrees. “Pinot Noir tends to be quite fruity in the UK, and better for rosé than in warmer climates. UK rosé sparklers are really creating quite a buzz as the grapes are usually fermented together and not a blend of red and white wine, as in Champagne.”

“I’m very pleased for Camel,” Skelton said, who has recently launched a dedicated English sparkling wine site. “I think their wine is a very deserving winner.”

£24.95 plus delivery, www.camelvalley.com/wines-and-shop