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Hambledon announces new MD

Published:  24 January, 2024

Hambledon Vineyard has announced it has a new MD as it prepares to embark on a future under joint Symington Family Estates and Berry Bros. & Rudd ownership.

James Osborn will join the team as MD in April having racked up 10 years of experience in the English wine industry, including his most recent role in the English Wine Consultancy team for Knight Frank where he specialised in building higher margin, more valuable wine brands anchored to top hospitality-led destinations. Prior to this, Osborn was a founding member of The Wine Garden of England and MD at Squerryes Wine Estate. He also holds the position of non-executive director at Tillingham Wine Estate.

Hambledon meanwhile is one of England’s largest and oldest commercial vineyards. Its first vines were planted on the site in 1952 and today it is one of a few leading English producers with the capacity to produce more than 500,000 bottles per year of estate-grown sparkling wine from its 200 acres.

A major new chapter for the estate also began towards the back end of last year, when it was announced that Berry Bros. & Rudd, the UK’s oldest fine wine and spirits merchant, and Symington Family Estates, the world’s leading producer of premium port, had acquired the business in a 50/50 joint venture. Both companies are Royal warrant holders, and announced the move represents ‘growing confidence’ in the dynamic English sparkling wine category and its future potential.

Emma Fox, CEO of Berry Bros. & Rudd said: “We are delighted to announce the appointment of James to the team. He brings a wealth of expertise in the English sparkling wine sector and will be instrumental in leading Hambledon’s growth plans at a very exciting time for the English sparkling category.”

Rob Symington, director of Symington Family Estates added: “Developing the senior leadership team is an important part of our plan to grow Hambledon Vineyard. James is very experienced and we are thrilled to welcome him to the team.”

Finally, Osborn also commented on his appointment: “I am delighted to join the Hambledon team at this really exciting time for the business and the sector as a whole. I am passionate about English wine and am excited to be part of Hambledon’s sparkling future.”