Leading English winemaker expands with 388 new acres on North Downs

By James Beeson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Ground expansion: the site at Boarley and Abbey Farm will be vined between 2019 and 2021
Ground expansion: the site at Boarley and Abbey Farm will be vined between 2019 and 2021
English winemaker Chapel Down Group 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, Kent, will have vines planted between 2019 and 2021, resulting in a total area under long-term leases of 788 acres.

Once this site is planted, the total vined area from which Chapel Down will source 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 11 October 2018.

Finest terroir

Speaking about the expansion, Frazer Thompson, chief executive of 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 Kit's 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 1m 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.”

International recognition

Earlier this year, Chapel Down won two gold and two silver awards in the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC).

The awards were given to wines from the Chapel Down’s single vineyard estate Kit’s Coty in north Kent. Kit's Coty Coeur de Cuvée 2013 took home a Gold Outstanding award, while Kit’s Coty Blanc de Blanc 2013 won gold in the Bottle Fermented Sparkling categories.

Kit’s Coty Bacchus 2016 won silver in the Bacchus category and Kit’s Coty Chardonnay 2015 achieved a silver in the Chardonnay group, capping a fine set of results for the English winemaker.

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