New Chapel Down winery to produce six million bottles a year - Fruit & Vine

New Chapel Down winery to produce six million bottles a year

Chapel Down’s new purpose-built winery is set to be complete by harvest 2025 and will have the capacity to produce six million bottles a year, placing its Canterbury site at the centre of the country’s thriving wine industry.

Chapel Down’s CFO Robert Smith (left) and CEO Andrew Carter (right).

Planning application for the £32 million winery project was approved this July, giving the industry giant green light to build an 11,900 sq m wine hub and 8,000 sq m warehouse at Canterbury Business Park.

Concerns were raised by members of Canterbury City Council about the project being built in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), however, the development was eventually given the go-ahead with nine votes in favour and four against, according to the BBC.

Chapel Down CEO Andrew Carter said the expansion is part of the company’s plans to double production between 2021 and 2026 and will give prominence to Canterbury in the national wine landscape.

“This development will have a significant positive impact on the local economy, creating jobs, increasing local spending and placing Canterbury at the heart of the country’s burgeoning wine industry,” Mr Carter told Fruit & Vine.

“Twinned with Reims, we believe that the creation of this state-of-the-art hub for wine production will further burnish Canterbury’s credentials as England’s own sparkling wine capital, and Chapel Down’s status as England’s leading and largest winemaker.”

“We are especially pleased that our proposed use of renewable energy generation and our commitment to biodiversity net gain were so welcomed by the planning committee,” Mr Carter continued. “We look forward to working with all of our stakeholders to deliver the next stage of this project, which will underpin our long-term profitable growth plans.”

As part of its growth ambitions, the company is also looking to establish a new vineyard between Wye and Chilham in 2024, bringing Chapel Down’s total acreage under vine to 1,000 acres.

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