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Published:  23 July, 2008

English Wines plc, the grouping of the three major English wine producers, Chapel Down, Lamberhurst (both in Kent) and Carr Taylor (Sussex), has reinvented itself as New Wave Wines (NWW). The company is boasting bold branding and marketing', including a new brand, Curious Grape', and three new blended wines. The new managing director is Frazer Thompson, who - like the senior management of Southcorp Wine Europe - has been recruited from the beer industry. Thompson first came to prominence with Whitbread and was then recruited by Heineken, which was brewed under licence by Whitbread. The company, which unveiled its new image and products on Wednesday (15 May), is boasting a major step forward in English winemaking and marketing, and a new generation of English wines'. Thompson said: Our winemakers have mastered climate, grape varieties and winemaking techniques to rival any wines produced anywhere in the world. Kent has become an innovative wine-growing region. Watch out Champagne and Sancerre.' According to the UK Vineyards Association and NWW, sales of English wine have doubled since 1997. NWW won 16 awards at the South East Wine of the Year competition at Leeds Castle in Kent, on 8 May. Its 1999 Chapel Down Brut Ros was overall South East Wine of the Year.