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English Wine Project set to open a new bottling plant in the Midlands

Published:  22 April, 2015

The English Wine Project, a winemaking consultancy firm and producer of its own range of wines, is set to open a beer and wine bottling plant in Derby in mid-June.

The bottling plant is 5,000 ft industrial building with state of the art equipment and is set up as an independent business called Complete Bottling.

Kieron Atkinson, the founder of the English Wine Project, said there was a demand in the area for a bottling plant, which already has robust beer producing industry and is now expanding as wine producing region.


English Wine Project

He said: "We will be bottling beer, ciders and wines at the plant. We are estimating that we will initially be bottling 5,000 litres a day of beer which can increase up to 10,000 litres per day in about 12 months time.  For wine we will be bottling 20,000 bottles per annum, but this could increase to up to 50,000 bottles per annum."

Primarily the bottling plant will be used for beer bottling and Atkinson's own range of wines, but says that it could potentially be used in the future by other local wine producers as more vineyards expand in the area.

He admits other areas like Sussex have been more popular in the past for vineyard site selections, but with the changing weather over the last decade there is more interest in vineyard expansion in the region. "What is exciting is the weather. It was a huge factor for producers, but now that simply isn't the case. We now see more investors in the area with plans to expand."

Atkinson produces his own range of sparkling and still wines which are produced from two different vineyards and found at retailers such as Waitrose. One vineyard is located at Renishaw Hall in north Derbyshire and the other vineyard is located at Welcombe Hills near Stratford upon Avon.

Atkinson left the British Army in 2010 after nine years of active service and completed his viticulture and oenology degree through Plumpton College.

He currently is consulting on several vineyards and winemaking projects in the area as demand grows in the region for qualified winemakers.

The bottling plant was partially funded through a £100,000 grant from the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund, which helps support local business which will provide jobs in the area.