Knightor Trevannion. English Quality Wine from Cornwall
I’ve been exploring English wineries recently; in Cornwall, Hampshire, Sussex and Kent. Trevannion is from a Cornish winery called Knightor. It’s less than five minutes drive from the Eden Project, near St. Austell.
Only grapes grown in England and Wales can be used to make English Quality Wine. Hence the grapes are from Knightor’s Cornish vineyards, with some bought-in from other additional English sources.
English still wine has improved beyond recognition and is getting perilously close to achieving mainstream acceptance, while fizz is now world-class. What a long way we’ve come from the days when most English wines were only of curiosity value.
Knightor Winery is a boutique venture. They produced their first vintage in 2010. Now they also have a restaurant, wedding venue, bar, café and shop. They take their environmental credentials as seriously as at the Eden Project, being off-grid for water and electricity. Winemaker James Thomas hailed from the Isles of Scilly and learnt his winemaking skills in Australia. He’s aiming to make wines with lightness, purity and elegance.
Knightor now has an extensive range of wines. As well as Trevannion, Knightor whites include Madeline Angevine and Bacchus. Meanwhile, Carpe Diem dry white blends from Huxelrebe, Bacchus, Reichensteiner and Pinot Gris. A white Schönburger made in an off-dry “Kabinett” style is called Mena Hweg. Their Carpe Diem Rosé is Rondo, Dornfelder, Reichensteiner and Kerner. The new and just bottled Carpe Diem red will be on sale soon, a blend of Pinot Noir, Dornfelder and Rondo. They now also have several excellent sparkling wines, my pick being 9112, a brut blend of Chardonnay, Reichensteiner, Huxelrebe, Auxerrois, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier from the 2009, 2011 and 2012 vintages.
With so many good quality wines, Knightor are clearly on an upward trajectory! Their labels feature an old map of the Knightor area. These remind me of Livio Felluga’s premium quality Italian wines – praise indeed.
Back to Knightor Trevannion
This excellent still white wine in 2014 is a blend of Siegerrebe, Schönburger, Würzer, and Huxelrebe. It offers full floral aromas, musky fruit and slatey minerality, with hints of tangy tangerine. It has a lightness of touch, moderate alcohol, and fresh acidity. Hints of spice linger on a long length. My advice would be to drink it now while young and vibrant.
Consequently, Trevannion was served blind with a starter of creamy Burrata, dressed with a little olive oil, mint and lemon zest. This Puglian cheese is buffalo mozzarella formed into a pocket filled with stracciatella, meaning “little rags.” This pairing was a revelation, a refreshing change from usual matches such as shellfish.
Most guests thought that Trevannion probably came from Northern Italy. Nope, Cornwall. Cue gasps of amazement! High praise indeed.
You can try and buy Trevannion and other Knightor wines directly from the winery or by internet mail order. Trevannion is £14.95. Alternatively, try stockists like Ellis Wharton Wines or Wadebridge Wines.
Knightor Winery and Restaurant
English Wine Week 2017 will take place Saturday 27th May – Sunday 4th June 2017. Knightor is well worth a visit at any time if you’re down in Devon or Cornwall.