Leading English wine producer Chapel Down has announced this week that planting is now underway at Boarley Farm, its 388 acre site, acquired last year.
Boarley Farm, together with the contiguous Kit’s Coty and Boxley sites, will form a 620 acre estate of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier plantings on prime land on the North Downs of Kent.
In Chapel Down’s opinion, this area of England has the “very finest terroir in the country” to make quality traditional method sparkling wine.
Mark Harvey, Chapel Down MD, said: “This is a really exciting development. Demand for our traditional method sparkling wine is sky high and these plantings enable us to really accelerate sales in the years to come.
“And with wines of great quality too – we know this from the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the Kit’s Coty collection from the same estate”.
Chapel Down has plans to start using ebony glass to offer the “best protection” in bottle.
Winemaker Josh Donaghay-Spire said: “The move to dark amber glass on our sparkling wine is the result of an internal five-year project into the impact of UV light on wine.
“We spend a huge amount of energy producing the fruit right in the vineyards and then years to make and mature the wine so it makes sense to remove any potential risk of this quality being eroded due to glass colour.”
The move to ebony glass will be phased as each new vintage is released, and is timed with refreshed packaging of the core Chapel Down sparkling wines, which presents clearer differentiation between non-vintage to vintage and white to rose.
In the last 18 months, Chapel Down has launched two premium gins and a vodka, made at base from the grape skins of the previous year’s harvest.
Mark added: “We are not bound by 350 years of red tape in the wine industry in this country. We should learn from the extraordinary innovation and growth of the Spirits and Beer industries.
“So long as we deliver on mouth-wateringly delicious drinks and enhance the premium positioning of the Chapel Down brand then our history of leadership and innovation is set to continue.”