Seven years ago, John & Kim Coulson were fish merchants supplying Marks & Spencer from their business based at Newlyn Harbour. After many successful years and with a growing family of 5 children, they decided they needed a bigger house!
By chance they found a derelict farmhouse on the edge of Penzance and decided to buy it – along with 23 acres, 2 cottages and 2 barns for conversion.
After meeting an award-winning Cornish winemaker they decided to plant vines and create their own Cornish vineyard. From their first wine harvest in 2006, they created the first Polgoon wine and were subsequently awarded the Trophy for “Best Still Rose in the UK”. This trophy was awarded by the UK Vintners Association, judged by 7 Masters of Wine and sponsored by Waitrose.
The next two harvests also won major national competitions. Unfortunately, after these early successes, Polgoon suffered terrible harvests in 2007 and 2008 after enduring particularly adverse weather conditions, leaving almost no wine! Determined not to be beaten, the Coulsons perfected a Cornish cider called Aval (Cornish for ‘apple’), a sparkling cider product made using the Methode Traditionelle, the same method used by French winemakers to produce their sparkling wines . They began to market it locally, and within weeks it had all sold out.
Polgoon then added a further product to their range, namely Raspberry Aval, which won a Gold Medal in the Taste of the West Awards 2009 and was runner up in the National Drinks Awards in the same year. It has gone on to become their bestselling sparkling drink.
The summer of 2009 was a good one for growing and Polgoon had a strong harvest, they also set about developing a range of Cornish ciders to further extend the selection.
During the early part of 2012, a company led by Kim’s sister Ali, invested in Polgoon and created Polgoon Vineyard & Orchard, a trading division of Paramount 21 Ltd. With new investment in the business, the Polgoon brand is looking forward to making production more efficient while simultaneously not losing sight of their own artisanal style and commitment to local business.