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Nyetimber expands across Kent with 205,000 new vines

Published:  18 May, 2020

Nyetimber has gone ahead with plans to rapidly expand its area under vine, with a major planting of 42ha at a new site in Kent.

Nyetimber had planned to expand its footprint in the south of England to “keep up with demand” for its wines in the UK and internationally.

Now, 195,000 vines have gone into the ground at a new site in Kent, while 10,000 vines have also been added over 2.5ha at the estate’s main vineyard in West Sussex.

Combined, the new plantings should allow Nyetimber to produce on average an additional 220,000 bottles a year when the new vines reach maturity in 2023-24.

This now brings the estate’s number of vineyards to 10 across West Sussex, Hampshire and Kent, with 260ha out of a total 327ha likely to produce fruit this year.

Today, the estate said the decision was made to continue the pre-planned expansion “despite the challenging trading conditions”.

It represents the second largest vine planting programme to have been undertaken by Nyetimber in its 30-year history.

“This expansion of our vineyards reflects our confidence in the sustained long-term growth of the brand,” said Eric Heerema, owner and CEO of Nyetimber. “We can’t wait for these new vines to reach their full potential and the planting programme underscores our confidence, commitment and endeavour to produce the best possible English sparkling wine.”

The new vineyard, comprising Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, is near the village of Thurnham in Kent, on what was an arable field on the Kent Downs.

“Years of research” have gone into finding the right site, the estate said, with the chalk and loam site in the Kent Downs coming up trumps.

The aim now is to focus on the point “where geology, soil and aspect all come together” and giving each site “its own sense of place and unique character to give even more blending components to the winemakers”.