English Wine champion Anthea McIntyre MEP was leading the cheers today after a renowned home-grown wine was granted the European Union's coveted Protected Designated Origin status (PDO).
The designation has been confirmed by EU Commission for Darnibole, a white wine from the Camel Valley Vineyard in Cornwall. The award follows five years of deliberation by Commission officials and a number of interventions by Miss McIntyre who feared that comprehensive protection of the wine from imitations was being delayed too long.
Miss McIntyre, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, said: "I was delighted to offer support in Brussels to the Camel Valley vineyard in its quest for PDO for Darnibole. It is a very fine wine and deserves to stand on a par with many of the biggest names in the trade.
"As one of the UK Vineyards Association's champions of English and Welsh wine, I know that our growers and makers are increasingly renowned around the world. This is another wonderful example of their progress."
Darnibole, one of a number of prize-winning wines produced at Camel Valley by the Lindo family, is the first single-vineyard wine in the UK to be granted PDO status, putting it on a par with other European food and drink classics such as Champagne and Parma ham.
The PDO's strict criteria demand that the wine be made at the Camel Valley winery after hand-picking of the grape, with no acidification, de-acidification or sweetening. It must have higher natural alcohol and, most importantly, must be compared with previous vintages to ensure typicity.
Former RAF pilot turned wine-grower Bob Lindo thanked Miss McIntyre for her "great support". His son Sam, three times UK winemaker of the year, said: "Most previous vintages of Darnibole Bacchus have won a Gold medal and critical acclaim, so there is something that we consider to be special about that small area. It produces intense, steely Bacchus with a delicate restrained aroma."
Miss McIntyre said: "I gather Darnibole is a favourite of two-star Michelin chef Nathan Outlaw for his tasting menus. That is some recommendation, but now the EU's highest recognition has really set a seal on the wine's status."