Supplier Stories - Polgoon Vineyard & Orchard
Meet Kim Coulson, co-owner and chief wine taster at Polgoon Vineyard and Orchard, who planted the very first vine with her husband John. Find out more about Polgoon and Kim's West Cornwall recommendations!
Please tell us a little bit about how Polgoon started?
Polgoon started when we bought a run-down daffodil farm back in 2004 and decided, some say stupidly, to plant some vines! By 2006 we’d produced our very first rosé that won a national trophy! After a few years of ups and downs, we’re now here, fifteen years on, producing a range of wines, ciders and juices from our farm in Penzance.
What can people expect when they visit Polgoon?
We now run vineyard tours from Easter all the way through to Christmas. Our tours take visitors around the vineyard and orchard where they learn all about the care and pruning regimes of the fruits we grow here on our 21-acre farm. We also look at the wine tanks and learn about production, followed by a tasting of 5 of our award-winning wines, where we explore the nuances of taste and aroma.
Our Vine House cafe offers a small menu of high quality, locally-sourced produce matches perfectly with each of our wines. And we have a shop, full of our wines, ciders and juices and other delicious, local goodies.
Could you tell us a little bit about the grapes that you grow and use to make your wine?
We grow lots of different grape varieties here; Bacchus, Seyval Blanc, Ortega, Pinot Noir, Rondo and we’ve just had our first successful crop of Sauvingnon Blanc – a first of this variety to be grown in Cornwall! We produce reds, whites and rosés, sparkling wines and still. The whole process, from growing the grapes to bottling the wine, takes place here on our farm.
What changes have you seen over the years?
In the last few years English Wine has boomed! When we started, everyone turned their noses up at English wine, it had a very bad image. But, not anymore! Producers across the UK are producing fantastic, internationally-awarded wines and local restaurants, bars and hotels are catching on and stocking up knowing that tourists actively seek out quality, local produce and that includes drinks too.
This interest in all things English wine is also apparent by numbers on our tours. When we started we had a few people pop in to wander around the vines. Now we’re often fully booked from the start of the season right through until Christmas. We’ve become a tourist attraction in Penzance and that’s amazing considering all the options that people have down here.
What do you think is unique about Polgoon?
We’re Cornish! There aren’t many vineyards in the world with a view of the sea! We also produce single estate, single variety, single vintage wines, which means the grapes are grown here, pressed here and bottled here – that’s quite unique in the world of wine.
What is your favourite product that you make and what would you pair it with?
I love a glass of Bacchus with some freshly caught fish from Newlyn – cooked by the winemaker!
Apart from your own wine, what is your usual go to and why?
If you could only pick either red or white, which one would it be and why?
Impossible to choose – they’re all fantastic.
Fish and chips are a Godolphin Arms favourite – which of your ciders or wines would you recommend guests pair this with?
Fish and Fizz! A glass of Seyval Blanc Sparkling would be a real luxury with fish and chips!
What do you love about living and working in West Cornwall?
Everything! I love the people here, the landscape, the wildlife, the culture. We get to see people enjoying themselves on their holidays – it’s nice to be a part of that – even if we don’t get to go on holiday much ourselves!
Where is your favourite spot in Cornwall?
The view from the top of the vineyard – looking out to sea!
Describe Polgoon in three words
Delicious, Quality, Cornish