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Chapel Down reports growing sales despite fears over frost damage

PUBLISHED: 17:27 28 September 2017

Chapel Down

Chapel Down

Archant

The Tenterden winery is an official wine partner to 10 Downing Street

Interest in Kentish wines “has never been higher”, a winery CEO has claimed as it announced a rise in sales by more than a fifth.

Chapel Down, which is based in Tenterden, dismissed speculation of frost damage which has severely affected the apple harvest in some areas of the county.

The company, which supplies the likes of The Donmar Warehouse, The Royal Opera House, London Symphony Orchestra and is also an official wine partner to No. 10 Downing Street, saw revenues increase by 22 per cent, with 50 acres of new vineyards planted on its new leased sites in Kent.

Chief executive Frazer Thompson said: “We are focused on delivering strong top line growth at good margins to ensure we can continue to build strong and sustainable brands that our consumers and customers love.

“Interest in English wines – and Chapel Down in particular - has never been higher and is exciting the wine world as we help to grow the sparkling wine market as well as innovate and surprise with our still wines.

“We are planting more vines on some truly outstanding land, while improving our winemaking and equipment and systems. We continue to develop our people and brands.

“We are encouraged by the prospect of a good harvest in 2017, despite early fears of significant frost damage, with very high quality fruit which will enable us to continue to improve the quality of our wines and help us meet future demand at the premium end of the market.”

The winery also enjoyed success in sales of its beers and ciders, with profits in that particular market also up some 18 per cent to £558,000.

Mr Thompson added: “Maintaining the highest standards of quality have been crucial to developing the brand and I am delighted that we have achieved this.

“Our growth has been limited by our desire to maintain margins and ensure our positioning has not been compromised at this early stage.

“The new brewery is about to commence construction at Ashford and will represent a big step forward in the brand’s journey.

“We have also seen interest in our cider continuing to grow. This autumn will see a re-design of our range to reflect more clearly our winemakers pedigree, which we know consumers see as a relevant and exciting point of difference.

“I believe we have a fantastic team of people, and we are excited about the prospects for the future and our ability to continue to hire the very best people to enable us to develop an even better business by exciting consumers and investors.”

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