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Monday, 25 October 2010

A bit of fizz?

So someone's about to get wed, has a new job or maybe has won the lottery!

Naturally, we have to get some sparkling liquid with which to commemorate the occasion and for most people, this usually means Champagne.
But if you thought the best sparkling wines come from the Champagne region of France, you'd be wrong - very wrong indeed in fact!

The picture above should give you a few clues. And here, by way of another clue, are just a few some of the awards this sparkler has won.

International Wine Challange 2010: Trophy for best sparkling rose in the world (including champagne). 2005 International Wine Challenge Gold Medal: the only Gold in the whole world for a sparkling wine from outside Champagne.

So, where is this fantastic place?

Well don't think Raymond Blanc, think Rick Stein, because the best producer of sparkling wines in the world is in ...............CORNWALL!.

The Camel Valley Vineyard just outside Bodmin is a superb little vineyard that I have visited many times.

Their chief winemaker these days is Sam Lindo who is the son of the owner. Sam did me a very big favour a couple of years ago. For my 50th birthday, I held a wine quiz and for the Rose, I chose Camel Valley's rose to die for, which takes just like ripe strawberries.

The problem was that Camel Valley had not yet bottled their rose for 2008. However, when I explained to Sam that I was running a quiz for charity, he made up some bottles of his 2008 especially for me!

The top prize for the quiz was a bottle of their 2005 sparkler called 'Cornwall' which was the one that won the gold medal. A mate of mine who is a toastmaster won the quiz and claims that he will never ever buy champagne again for big events.

Mind, neither will the British government, because they now use Camel Valley 'Cornwall' (which is their name for their champagne), for all their major events.

To find out more, got to