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Blenheim Palace seeks winery partner for co-branded wine production

Published:  11 July, 2024

Blenheim Palace, the 18th-century estate and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, has announced a unique opportunity for an established winery to enter a long-term partnership to produce co-branded wines on the Palace's land.

The Palace has identified 150 acres of south-facing land on its 12,000-acre estate in the Cotswolds, intended for sparkling wine production. With the average UK vineyard covering 10 acres, this represents a rare opportunity in the sector.

Global property consultancy Knight Frank has been appointed to lease the land on behalf of Blenheim Palace and is now seeking a suitable partner to plant vineyards and produce wines bearing the Blenheim Palace name.

“Blenheim Palace is one of the most famous and recognisable historic landmarks in all of Britain,” said Ed Mansel Lewis, head of viticulture at Knight Frank. “This represents an extraordinary opportunity for a top established winery to join with an elite brand in producing truly distinctive English wines.”

The partner will also have the option to establish a small showcase vineyard within the Palace’s walled gardens, near the Palace itself, part of the UNESCO World Heritage site visited by over a million people annually.

The successful applicant will gain access to numerous direct-to-consumer sales channels, selling Blenheim-branded wines through the Palace’s restaurants, gift shops, events and other outlets. Applications from wineries of all sizes are encouraged, with flexible business models including tenancy, joint venture, or share-farming agreements.

Mansel Lewis added: “With its storied heritage, remarkable architectural beauty and unparalleled visitor ambassador connections, Blenheim Palace offers an aspirational brand association that few wine producers could ever attain. The Estate’s picturesque setting in the Cotswolds offers ideal growing conditions with cooler temperatures and dry soil that provide huge potential for cultivating premium wine grapes.”

The land will be ready for planting vines in May 2026, beginning a 4-5-year process to establish vineyard operations under an expected 30-year term agreement. 

Roy Cox, managing director of estates at Blenheim Palace, said: “In a world where we know the UK is growing exceptional wines on a global stage, this new partnership is a truly unique opportunity to combine 300 years of history at a World Heritage Site, to our land and in doing so create thriving businesses to support the local economy through new and existing outlets. We hope to find a partner who shares our purpose, values, and vision for this opportunity. It’s a chance to create a legacy at such a crucial time for UK rural businesses.”