During English Wine Week (Saturday 25th May to Sunday 2nd June), a visit to Knightor New Cornish Winery And Restaurant Experience is a must. Unique to Cornwall in concept, and relatively new to England on the whole, Knightor takes a ‘New World’ approach found in countries such as Australia and New Zealand of successfully marrying wine tours and tastings with a first class restaurant.
In addition, to celebrate English Wine Week, Knightor is offering a wide range of English wines from other leading producers nationwide, including Camel Valley, Sharpham and Nyetimber, to try. It, therefore, provides a rare opportunity to taste a selection of English wines at one time in one place. The wines are available in tasting measures from a state of the art wine dispenser which serves wine in a perfect condition and at the correct temperature. A number of special food and wine dinners and tours will be taking place during English Wine Week from Thursday to Sunday.
The price of a wine tour and two course lunch is a very reasonable £17.95 and for a tour with dinner it is £22.95. These tours run throughout the growing season. As part of the tour you can learn how to cultivate grapes, prune vines, are introduced to the basics of winemaking and taste a range of Knightor wines. There are also tours with winemaker James Thomas for those looking for greater technical insight into the process.
Set in a venue that has the rustic charm of an historic granite farmstead in the Cornish countryside combined with the finest modern technology for making wine and serving it at the correct temperature and freshness, Knightor is both special and unique. The perfect marriage of ‘new wines, old world’. It is also a fantastic place to simply relax with a cup of coffee in the beautiful courtyard with family or friends or to host a full blown celebration. As a result Knightor is rapidly becoming known as an ideal venue for parties, weddings and corporate events. Further information on this can be found on the website (www.knightor.co.uk).
Situated near St Austell Bay, Knightor has succeeded in successfully combining the winery and restaurant to create a serious destination for both wine aficionados and food lovers. Particular attention has been paid in the restaurant to the use of local Cornish produce with a Mediterranean twist, with dishes of immense flavour due to the freshness of the ingredients. Lunches and dinners are paired with a tour of the winery. It doesn’t matter whether you are a wine novice or hold a Master of Wine, much is still to be gained from a trip to Knightor.
Winemaker James Thomas has the same obsessive passion about wine found in the best of international winemakers. This, coupled with time spent with industry leaders in Australia, allows him to blend his New World approach with classic European methods to produce exciting and fresh but complex wines. He is meticulous about every detail. This extends to the wine list he has created for Knightor’s on-site restaurant where he is realising his aim of having one of the most diverse and exciting lists in the country. The most appealing, interesting international wines are served alongside the Knightor range.
The Knightor wines are made using grapes from Knightor’s own Cornish vineyards at Portscatho and Seaton, as well as some grapes from other English growers who bring additional grape varieties to the table.
The Knightor winery lies on the site of a former ancient manor house on the edge of ‘clay country’. The two vineyards are almost equidistant from the winery and, in total, have approximately 17,000 vines, now six to seven years old. The vineyards benefit from the milder Cornish weather, all be it still wet, which has helped winemaker James to develop a range of distinctively English, elegant, light and immensely drinkable still and sparkling wines – the epitome of refined English character.
The Knightor vineyards are situated on the South coast of Cornwall at Portscatho in the Roseland and Seaton near Looe, so they tend to get less hot and less cold than other vineyards and, therefore, are slightly less susceptible to frost. All vines are on south facing slopes to ensure drainage and the area is also planted with natural windbreaks to add shelter from the coastal Cornish wind. Knightor’s portfolio of wines is also available to buy through the website.
Knightor’s first wines include:
• Madeleine Angevine 2011: A delicate floral wine, with gooseberry and elderflower flavours
• Trevannion 2011: A blend of Siergerrebe, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. A powerful aromatic wine, rich in fruit flavours
• First Vintage Rosé 2010: Produced in a limited 1,000 bottle run, this Provençal style Rosé is elegant, with gentle fruit making it the ideal summer wine to accompany a light lunch