THE STORY OF POLGOON VINEYARD, BY JOHN COULSON, THE CORNISH WINEMAKER
“I set up Polgoon Vineyard and Orchard with my wife Kim in 2006 and for the last 10 years we’ve been dedicated to producing artisan English wines, ciders and juices from our farm in Penzance.
We were originally Fish Merchants in Newlyn, but this changed when we bought an overgrown, run-down flower farm and started planting vines…
‘Polgoon’, Cornish for ‘Pond on the Downs’, is a word that describes the original setting of the location of the vineyard and orchard that sits on sunny hills, overlooking the sparkling sea of Mounts Bay. This unique position is reflected on our label that depicts an abstract view of the vines and the sea – two things we feel strongly connected to here at Polgoon.
We have a wide range of award-winning still and sparkling wines, ciders and juices sold in outlets across Cornwall and the West Country. Our mild Cornish climate and unique Cornish terroir means that the grapes we grow here are the grapes we use in our wines – which means most of our wines are single estate, something that only a few English vineyards can claim.
Our wines have always performed well when it comes to awards. We won a trophy for the Best Still Rosé in the UK for our very first Rosé produced in 2006 – this came as both a delight and a surprise – it marked the moment we realised that we were actually quite good at this!
But, every great story has its ups and downs and Polgoon suffered terrible harvests in 2007 and 2008 after enduring dire Cornish weather conditions, leaving almost no wine…
Determined not to be beaten, we planted an orchard and perfected a Cornish cider called Aval (Cornish for ‘apple’), a sparkling cider product made using the Methode Traditionelle, the same method used by French winemakers to produce their sparkling wines. We then added a further product to the range, Raspberry Aval, another Gold medal winner that has gone on to become our bestselling sparkling drink.
In recent years the weather’s been kinder and we’ve grown stronger and created more great wines. Of note is our Silver Award winning Seyval Blanc Brut Sparkling, a single variety, single estate wine. Made using the Methode Traditionelle, it’s light and pale in colour, with hints of lime and tiny bubbles bursting with greenfruits. It’s a very popular, wine that’s perfect when paired with Cornish seafood – especially fresh Newlyn crab, Cornish charcuterie and canapés.
Our Pinot Noir Rosé Brut Sparkling 2014, a single variety, single estate wine, is also rather special. A delicate pink colour with a golden hue, it has a nose of zesty citrus and toasted crumb. With its delicate palate, hints of tangerine, honey and spice, it makes a perfect pairing with light and not too spicy dishes – perfect with sushi, salads and oysters.
The Bacchus, one of our signature wines, is consistently good and always awarded. The 2015 vintage, another single estate, single variety wine. has an aromatic nose and notes of gooseberry, elderflower, citrus and fresh spring grass. This is a classic, refreshing Bacchus displaying vibrant lemon and lime flavours with hints of grapefruit and passionfruit.
Our most recent addition to our wine library is a single estate Sauvignon Blanc, our first vintage won a Gold award which we are very proud of, not least because many people said it wouldn’t grow here. Our second vintage is equally as good and once competitions are running again, we are hopeful of more awards.
We have tours that run from April-October and it’s a great way to experience life on a Cornish vineyard, where we share our knowledge of growing vines and creating fine English (or should it be Cornish?) wines. These tastings give customers ideas about pairing wine and food as well as an appreciation for the character and depth of a wine. We also have a Vine House Kitchen serving fresh locally sourced food and a Vineyard Shop selling other local produce as well as our own.
As Polgoon continues to go from strength to strength and our knowledge and expertise increases year on year, we endeavor to ensure our passion is always reflected in the quality of every product we produce - without exception, whatever the weather…”
John Coulson, owner and Cornish Winemaker, at Polgoon Vineyard and Orchard, Penzance, Cornwall.
Elite Wine Refrigeration are a supporter of English wine producers, we love their wines and everything they stand for! To receive 10% off your order at Polgoon please use the voucher below.