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Camel Valley makes history with ‘first growth’ PDO

Published:  22 May, 2017

The European Union has elevated Camel Valley’s ‘Darnibole’ vineyards to the highest level of Protected Designated Origin (PDO), making it the first and currently only UK single vineyard to be awarded this accolade.

The elevated level of PDO followed “five years of scrutiny” by the 28 EU Member States after Darnibole was first awarded National Protection by the UK government in 2012.

The EU had agreed unanimously on the award at a meeting held on 25th April 2017, said the Cornwall producer, adding the Member States had been “so impressed” by the application that the area had been extended during the process from seven to 28 acres of south facing land in the Camel Valley – all part of the winery’s vineyards.

Camel Valley said it had received “great support” in its quest for PDO for Darnibole from a number of sources ranging from DEFRA, MPs, MEPs and MWs.

Anthea McIntyre, MEP, said she was “delighted” to have offered her support to Camel Valley.

“It is a very fine wine and deserves to stand on a par with many of the biggest names in the trade,” she added.

Criteria involved for Darnibole achieve the highest level of PDO includes 100% Bacchus from Darnibole, no acidification or de-acidification, no sweetening, higher natural alcohol and hand picking (for harvesting). In addition, the wine must be made at the adjoining Camel Valley winery and must be compared with previous vintages to ensure typicity.

“Most previous vintages of Darnibole Bacchus have won a gold medal and critical acclaim, so there is something that we consider to be special about that small area - it produces intense, steely Bacchus with a delicate restrained aroma,” said Camel Valley winemaker Sam Lindo.

The other current PDO delimitations in the UK are England and Wales, but an application for PDO Sussex is pending with the EU.