English winemaker Chapel Down has announced that it has exchanged on an agreement to lease 388 acres of prime viticultural land adjoining its existing vineyards on the North Downs.
The site at Boarley and Abbey Farm in Boxley will be vined between 2019 and 2021, resulting in a total area under long term leases of 788 acres.
Once the site is planted, the total vined area from which Chapel Down will source its grapes – including owned land, land under long term leases and contract supply – will exceed 950 acres.
The completion of the lease is subject to the Landlord obtaining vacant possession of the land and associated agricultural buildings that is anticipated on or around the 11 October 2018.
Frazer Thompson, chief executive at Chapel Down Group, said: “This is more exciting news for Chapel Down and the English sparkling wine business. The Boxley site is close to our existing vineyard at Kits Coty and our other recently vined sites at Court Lodge Farm and Street Farm on the North Downs.
“We believe this area of the North Downs offers the finest terroir in England for sparkling varieties and successive excellent crops and critical acclaim for wines from our Kits Coty vineyard prove it.
“This will be the largest vineyard in England with the potential to produce up to a million bottles of sparkling wine per annum when mature.
“The sites will be planted over the coming years to enable us to grow our business to satisfy the increasing demand for Chapel Down wines over the next 25 years.”