English vineyards are taking on the French – so does the wine measure up?

The bunting was up in the fishing town of Fowey. The sun was shining. The smell of the sea was in my nostrils and someone else was putting in the hard work with the wood-fired pizza oven, while I opened a couple of bottles of sparkling wine (one white, one rosé) from Camel Valley Vineyard, whose base is a short drive away, just to the west of Bodmin.

I taste wine for a living – and a lot of it (I’m talking 500 wines or so in a busy week) – so when I buy it myself, especially when I’m on holiday, you can be sure I only pick bottles I really want to drink.

English sparkling wine made from chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier can now consider itself to be world class. In the last couple of decades,…

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