Polgoon is a newly established vineyard and orchard based just outside Penzance in south Cornwall. The owners, John and Kim Coulson, have developed a derelict farm into a flourishing business, producing award winning products.
Their wines are already highly regarded, but for me the stand out product is the Polgoon Aval - a sparkling champagne style cider made using the traditional French champagne method of a second fermentation in the bottle. The result this a crisp, elegant and very refined grown up tipple. Ironically it is everything that I am not, but I just love it! It is deliciously appley, yet dry and very refreshing. It makes a great English alternative to the more obvious Champagne and certainly stands up to its French counterpart in terms of taste and quality.
Only a couple of years in to the new venture when their grape crops failed due to the terrible weather, the Coulson's, not to be deterred, focused their efforts on producing other products. They created and perfected the Polgoon Aval using apples from the orchard and it soon became a big hit. Even better then that this great British drink arose from such adversity.
Aval is the Cornish word for Apple, so what more appropriate name for a Cornish drink made from Apples. They also make Aval Rosé with the addition of raspberries, very much like pink champagne, and a pear cider called Polgoon Peren (that's Cornish for pear).
We dropped by Plogoon for some cellar door sales but as it happened we managed to gate crash a tour of the vineyard. The Three Hungry Boys from the Channel 4 TV show were being shown around and we were lucky enough to be invited to join in. Clearly very passionate about what they are doing at Polgoon, the friendly and enthusiastic owners deserve to suceed.
It's difficult to find Polgoon Aval outside of the South West but most definitely worth tracking down. It is is being stocked by River Cottage and Rick Stein, amongst others, and a full list if stockists can be found on their website.
Rosehill, Penzance, Cornwall, TR20 8TE
This post forms part of a series about our 2010 gastro camping trip in Cornwall.