English sparkling wine company, Chapel Down, has said this year’s harvest is its second largest ever – only beaten by last year’s bumper crop – and that this is evidence of the genesis of a new “World class wine-growing region”.
The Kent-based company, which also has a spirit and beer arm in addition to its sparkling wines, said the 2019 harvest yielded excellent quality fruit with volumes equivalent to 92% of 2018’s record harvest.
Frazer Thompson, CEO of Chapel Down Group said this year’s harvest has been “another exceptional one” that would enable the group to put sparkling base wines aside for future growth.
“With some of our new vineyards giving us their first crop and high yields in our more mature vineyards, we are delighted to report our second highest ever vintage which yielded equivalent to 92% of 2018’s record harvest,” he said. “Despite the challenging weather during harvest we have again been delighted with not only the quantity of fruit but also the quality, especially in Kent. It’s testament to the outstanding team we have developed that we have been able to maintain very high quality fruit and excellent yields. This is further evidence of the genesis of a new World class wine-growing region. These are exciting times for our young industry.”
Before the harvest, English wine producers expressed relief that the volumes would be above average although not as big as last year.
However the official figure for the number of bottles produced in Britain in 2018 was revised, falling from 15.6 million as originally announced to 13.2 million – the official figure which has been published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), meaning that 2018 beat the previous record of 2014 of 6.3 million bottles, by 6.9 million bottles, rather than 9.3 million as originally stated.
Earlier this month, the company’s managing director of wines and spirits, Mark Harvey refuted concerns relating to a potential oversupply of English wine in the years ahead, stating that demand is at “an all time high”. It follows concern from some members of the industry about demand, with some saying that the English sparkling wine industry must adopt a coherent approach to supply as production looks set to double over the next decade.
The English sparkling wine, spirit and beer producer Chapel Down saw total sales rise 18% to £6.74 million in the first half of the year, but the company’s losses grew to £1.03 million on the back of investment and