Cornwall is a wonderful place to visit, with various attractions to enjoy when on holiday. Wine tasting in Cornwall and vineyard tour offerings are a great addition to any trip!
But how do you decide which vineyard in Cornwall to visit— and when?
Although you’d think that summer would be perfect for a vineyard trip, the crowds of tourists at almost every Cornish attraction in summer means it will be very crowded. But don’t worry.
In this article we’ll be covering:
- The best time of year to visit vineyards
- A selection of the best Cornish vineyards to visit and taste at
- The specialities of each vineyard.
Let’s pop the cork and get into it.
Best Time to Visit a Vineyard in Cornwall
Vineyards, like any other kind of farm, are seasonal attractions. Making sure you arrive at a Cornish vineyard at the right time of year is key to ensuring the best possible experience!
However, picking the perfect time of year can be tricky. For a start, you’ll need to find a time that you’re available!
After all, it’s your holiday.
Multiple sources agree that early autumn is the best time to go on a vineyard tour or wine tasting trip. September is the best choice of month if you can, as there will be fewer tourists and the vineyards will still be operating. Plus, it will likely still be reasonably nice weather.
If you can’t make it in September, spring or summer are also good choices for winery visits.
The limiting factor is, of course, what time of year the vineyards offer tours and tastings.
As you’ll see when we discuss the various vineyards in the rest of the article, many of the wineries tour through the middle part of the year. Most offerings start in March or April and run through until September or October.
Camel Valley Vineyard
Camel Valley Vineyard is a well-established and highly-commended winery that offers a wide range of wines, including sparkling, rosé, white, and still.
Located in almost the exact middle of the Cornish landscape, Camel Valley is named for the River Camel that runs within sight of the vineyard’s dining area.
The vineyard was established in 1989 by Bob and Annie Lindo, a couple who took the leap of making their interest in viticulture into a way of life.
That leap paid off, as the couple went on to wide critical acclaim for their wines that continues to the present day.
The vineyard remains family-owned, with Annie and Bob’s son Sam now head winemaker.
Camel Valley has had at least one award-winning wine every year since 1996, giving them an impeccable track record.
These aren’t just for one kind of wine, either — they’ve won at least one award for all of the types of wine they offer!
To cap it all off, Camel Valley received the Royal Warrant in 2018, meaning that their wines have been being provided to the royal family over a period of several years.
And, they’re not just for highbrow wine enjoyers — regular people like their wines too, as these Reddit comments show.
The vineyard runs one guided tour at 10:30am each day, Monday to Friday, over the course of the whole year.
They are family-friendly, and kids’ tickets include a soft drink at the end of the tour while the adults enjoy some vino.
If you’d rather just sample some wine, Camel Valley offers it by the glass between 12:45 and 4:00pm Monday to Friday.
Bookings are required, with the booking fee being put towards the cost of the wine when you arrive.
- Tours: £5 children, £18 adults
- Wine by the glass: £5 booking fee plus cost of wine.
Polgoon Winery is a newer competitor in the vineyard area, having had their first harvest in 2006.
But don’t let that fool you — they’ve won awards for their wines every year since 2014!
Just like Camel Valley, it’s family-owned.
In fact, Polgoon and Camel Valley are closely linked. John and Kim Coulson, the owners of Polgoon, took advice from Bob Lindo on what best to do with the old flower farm they’d purchased.
Polgoon doesn’t just do wines, either — they’ve also branched out into ciders, after a series of bad harvests left them with very little wine.
They’re also committed to sustainable wine practices, recycling wherever they can and avoiding excessive packing and transport emissions. They were awarded Plastic Free Status in January 2018.
Polgoon offers both guided and independent tours of the winery.
Guided tours run year round, but the number of offerings depends on the season. Their winter tours run at 3pm Thursdays and Fridays, but they extend their offerings in the Summer.
These take around an hour and a half, so make sure to leave yourself plenty of time!
Their independent tours return in March of 2023. You guide yourself around the winery, enjoying three wine tastings in the process. These can be booked every day of the week!
And, if you’re a sparkling wine enthusiast, you can check out their sparkling wine tours that will be back from June of 2023.
All of their tours are dog-friendly, too, as long as your dog is on a leash!
The winery offers food as well during the spring and summer at their kitchen, and they even provide the option of staying at the winery.
- Guided tours: £17.50 adults, £2.50 children
- Self-guided tours: £10 adults, £2.50 children
- Sparkling wine tours: £19.50
Cornish Wine Tours
Cornish Wine Tasting offers guided tours around various Cornish wineries, as well as private tastings at your home. Formerly Cornish Wine Tours, they are well-established in Cornish wine tourism.
Although their touring experience has sadly been cut back from its pre-pandemic offering, they still offer guided tours around up to three local wineries and vineyards for parties of eight or more.
Of course, the major attractions here are the guided nature of the tour and the fact that you don’t have to drive yourself. Nobody gets picked as the sober driver and misses out on the fun!
However, Cornish Wine Tasting now has a new main offering — wine tasting! You might have guessed from the name change.
During the pandemic, they noticed that people preferred to have a more private and intimate experience with their wine tasting as opposed to going to wineries as they used to.
These experiences continue to entertain and offer a more exclusive experience than a traditional wine tasting visit, where you’re typically there among a larger group.
You can book wine tasting evenings for groups of four and up, and can choose between Cornish wine tasting and world wine tasting.
- Tours: Price on application
- Wine tastings: From £30 per person, depending on how many wines you sample
Trevibban Mill Winery
Located in North Cornwall, Trevibban Mill is another great option for a winery tour and tasting venue.
Another husband-and-wife team, Engin and Liz Mumcuoglu made the decision to change careers into viticulture and, as above, it paid off!
They’ve been producing wine on-site since 2014, having first planted the vineyard in 2008.
Known for an environmentally friendly approach, Engin and Liz are no strangers to the awards themselves despite them being incredibly humble about the fact on their website.
Trevibban has won awards in 2014 for its white and pink sparkling wines (as well as a red), and also in 2019 for its champagne and sparkling wine.
Trevibban offers two kinds of tour, as well as a wine and cider tasting session.
The grand walking tour runs weekly at 10:30am on a Saturday from April to the end of September, and takes a three hour tour around the vineyard and winery.
Tours include an explanation of viticulture and the way grapes are grown at Trevibban, before finishing with lunch, cheese, and wine tasting in Cornwall.
If that seems a bit much for you, the guided tours run much more frequently and aren’t quite as long.
You’ll be able to do these in around half the time, and they run from March to the end of October. You’ll still enjoy a tour of the vineyard in Cornwall and winery, as well as a guided tasting to conclude.
Finally, their tastings run every day from 12pm to 5pm and typically take around one hour.
- Grand walking tour: £65 per person
- Guided tour: £20 per person
- Tastings: £15 per person, wine or cider
Looe Valley Vineyard
Looe Valley, established in 2008 and with a first wine batch in 2014, continues the trend of family-run, local Cornish wine offerings.
Spanning four acres, the recent arrival on the scene is quite small and run by a semi-retired couple, Sue and Charles. They offer a variety of wines, including sparkling and rosé.
The vineyard is open from May to October, and offers tours at 2:00pm on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays during these months. These typically take around two hours.
Their tours are dog-friendly, but due to the small nature of the vineyard it’s a good idea to book before you go so they make sure they can fit you in.
You can also book to stay in a cottage on the vineyard premises, if you’re wanting an extra special experience romantic experience as a couple!
- Tours: £12.50 per person for groups under 10, £14.50 for groups over 10
- Cottage stay: price varies depending on duration — one week is £386
Knightor Winery, on the southern coast of Cornwall, is another small winery with great options for tourists.
The winery is situated among several stone warehouses from the 18th and 19th century, giving the winery a feel that is difficult to match.
It provides the perfect backdrop for a day of civilised wine-tasting, and history buffs will enjoy the surroundings and the story of the local area.
Knightor offers tastings at the winery from 11am to 4pm, Wednesday to Sunday. These are guided by the Knightor staff. They also offer tours from April to October which include a tasting of four wines at the end.
Tours typically take around an hour, which makes Knightor one of the quicker stops we’ve looked at in this article.
- Wine tasting: £10 per person
- Tours: £20 per person
Colwith Farm Distillery
Colwith Farm is Cornwall’s first fully-equipped distillery, creating their vodka and gin with only in-house ingredients.
The distillery, originally a farm, has been run by Steve and Chris since 2010. They have a large potato growing operation to supply the raw ingredients for their spirits, and a strong family culture around the distillery.
Although they don’t offer tastings by themselves, Colwith Farm does offer a guided tour. This will help you learn about the distillation process, as well as tastings to conclude the tour.
They have alternative options for drivers, so you won’t miss out on all the fun if you’re the chauffeur for the day!
On top of this, the distillery offers gin and vodka programs that allow you to craft your own spirits.
These take two hours, or longer if you go for the masterclass option which combines the creation of a spirit with the distillery tour.
- Tours: £19 per person
- Gin and Vodka “schools”: £79 for one person or £99 for two
- Gin and Vodka masterclasses: £99 for one person or £149 for two
Bosue Vineyard rounds out our list as a final family-run vineyard, once again charting among top awards with their wine offerings.
The land that the vineyard is on has been cultivated since 1290 for a variety of purposes, with the vineyard being a comparatively recent development.
Although the vineyard doesn’t offer tours, it’s still worth giving them a ring to see if they can organise a tasting for you — or just pop in and pick up a bottle of their latest.
Wine in Cornwall, Final Thoughts
Cornwall’s unique climate and positioning lends itself to a wide variety of wineries, vineyards, and distilleries— many of which are happy to have guests along to tour the vines or taste the wines.
No matter what kind of wine enthusiast you are, you’ll be able to find something for your liking here.
Go out and have a wonderful holiday!
Introducing Eliot, the Editor here and Cornwall local with a wanderlust spirit and an insatiable appetite for adventure. With a passion for the great outdoors, he can often be found catching waves on his surfboard, scaling peaks on a hiking trail, or discovering hidden gems in his exploration of Cornwall.