When ex-RAF pilot Bob Lindo and his wife Annie planted their first eight thousand vines in 1989, they never dreamed of the phenomenal success they would achieve within 2 decades. They had bought their farm in the heart of the Cornish countryside several years earlier, seeking a change from service life and the perfect place to bring up their young family, and initially farmed sheep and cattle. Each summer they watched the grass turn brown on the sun-drenched slopes of the Camel Valley, and wondered if vines might enjoy such an aspect.
Since then, Camel Valley has gone on to win numerous international wine awards including best sparkling rosé in the world on three separate occasions. Sam Lindo was runner-up at the world's best sparkling winemakers in the International Wine Challenge.
So what is the secret of Camel Valley's success?
Obviously the Lindos were fortunate to have started their wine business at a time when there was a resurgence of interest in local food and drink, but that's only part of the story.
‘Our wine is sold at Rick Stein's and throughout Cornwall, but it also goes a lot further afield,' said Bob.
‘For example, we supply Waitrose nationally, Fortnum's and Hakkasan in London, and even export to Japan. You'd be surprised how many customers say they first tried a glass of our wine at Tate Modern in London and felt they just had to come and visit the vineyard. I think making a top quality product is the secret of our success and with that in mind we are delighted to be supplying our wine to The Graduation Wine Company since they, like us, are uncompromising about quality.'