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Drinks

Hot Summer Drives Bumper Harvest For English Winemaker Chapel Down

By Dave Simpson

This year's long, warm summer produced a bumper harvest for English wine producer Chapel Down, it said on Monday 17 October, good news for fans of the flourishing local fizz industry.

Details

Chapel Down, based in Kent, southern England, is the country's wine largest producer. In a statement it said its harvest jumped 43% this year, enabling it to make two million bottles of sparkling and still wines, up by a third from the previous year.

Vines have become an increasingly familiar sight on the rolling downs of south east England over the last two decades as climate change makes it easier to grow grapes, enabling producers to take advantage of chalky soils similar to those found in France's Champagne region.

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The English sparkling wine market grew 29% in 2021, said Chapel Down in its statement, adding that the company is in talks to source more land for new vines.

One study estimates that the number of hectares used for growing grapes in Britain expanded by 400% between 2004 and 2021, although English wines still only account for about 2% of all wine bought in Britain.

While the hotter than usual summer in Europe worried some vineyards on the continent, forcing them to harvest early as temperatures soared, Chapel Down said it had benefited from the warmer weather.

"Our strong performance in the first half of the year and the bumper harvest we have announced today leave Chapel Down well on track to meet our target to double the size of the business by 2026," Chapel Down's Chief Executive Andrew Carter said in the statement.

Stock Exchange And Market Capitalisation

Chapel Down is listed on the Aquis Stock Exchange in London and has a market capitalisation of about £40 million.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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