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Chapel Down signs lease for new site to become ‘largest vineyard’ in England

Published:  06 September, 2018

Chapel Down has today exchanged on an agreement to lease 388 acres of viticultural land – a move it claims will make it the biggest vineyard in England.

The site at Boarley and Abbey Farm in Boxley, which adjoins Chapel Down’s existing vineyards on the North Downs, will be vined between 2019 and 2021 resulting in a total area under long-term leases of 788 acres, with planting poised to take place over the coming years.

Once the site is planted, the total vined area from which Chapel Down will source its grapes – including owned land, land under long-term leases and contract supply – will exceed 950 acres, said the winery.

The deal would, in addition to making Chapel Down the largest vineyard in England, create the potential to produce up to a million bottles of sparkling wine per annum when mature, said chief executive Frazer Thompson.

“This is more exciting news for Chapel Down and the English sparkling wine business. The Boxley site is close to our existing vineyard at Kits Coty and our other recently vined sites at Court Lodge Farm and Street Farm on the North Downs,” he said.

The area of the North Downs offered the “finest terroir” in England for sparkling varieties, he added.

“Our successive excellent crops and critical acclaim for wines from our Kits Coty vineyard prove it.”

The completion of the lease is subject to the landlord obtaining vacant possession of the land and associated agricultural buildings that is anticipated on or around the 11 October 2018.