Chapel Down raises £4.3m for expansion

Chapel Down, the English winemaker, has secured more than £4.3 million in new equity funding to expand the business and help grow its reputation both at home and overseas.

The Kent-based company says it plans to use the money to increase the production of both its award-winning wines and beers.

Part of the monies raised will be deployed to significantly increase the planting of vines across Kent, Sussex and Essex to help meet an ever-growing demand for both its sparkling and still wines.

The company will build a brewery for its Curious range of beers, which will also result in local job-creation.

Chapel Down already partners with some of the UK’s top chefs, including Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver, and supplies wines to many leading retailers, including Majestic, Morrison’s, Marks and Spencer, Waitrose, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.

The Tenterden-based business has also started to export its wines and beer, selling to countries including Japan, Finland, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Holland, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Canada and France.

Chapel Down also announced today that John Dunsmore will be joining the board to help oversee this exciting period in the company’s development.

Dunsmore was previously chief executive of Scottish & Newcastle and C&C Magners. He is also the founder of the Hothouse Club which has invested £2.4m in Chapel Down.

Chapel Down CEO Frazer Thompson, said: “We are about to start an exciting new phase in Chapel Down’s development. We now have a terrific brand and some huge opportunities.

“Just over a decade ago our industry and business was little more than a bit of a novelty.  Today we are a prestigious, internationally recognised brand with world class credentials," he said.

“This investment will allow us to continue to increase the supply for our award-winning brands to meet growing demand and further improve the quality and reach of both our wine and beer in the UK and Internationally,” said Thompson.