The wine industry should learn from "extraordinary innovation" in beer and spirits

The wine industry should learn from the “extraordinary innovation and growth” in beer and spirits, according to the managing director of Chapel Down, Mark Harvey.

He said: “We are not bound by 350 years of red tape in the wine industry in this country. We should learn from the extraordinary innovation and growth of the spirits and beer industries. So long as we deliver on mouth-wateringly delicious drinks and enhance the premium positioning of the Chapel Down brand then our history of leadership and innovation is set to continue.”

Chapel Down claims innovation is one of its “central philosophies” with recent moves including its extension into premium spirits last year with the launch of two gins and a vodka, all made from the grape skins of the previous year’s harvest.

Harvey’s statement coincided with the news that Chapel Down has commenced planting on its new 388-acre site, which the producer said boasts “the very finest terroir in the country”.

The Boarley Farm site, which was acquired last year, together with the producer’s Kit’s Coty and Boxley sites, will form a 620 acre estate of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier plantings on the North Downs of Kent.

Harvey added: “This is a really exciting development. Demand for our traditional method sparkling wine is sky high and these plantings enable us to really accelerate sales in the years to come. And with wines of great quality too – we know this from the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the Kit’s Coty collection from the same estate.”

The company also recently announced its traditional method wines would move to ebony glass, in order to offer the best protection in bottle.

Josh Donaghay-Spire, winemaker, said: “The move to dark amber glass on our sparkling wine is the result of an internal five-year project into the impact of UV light on wine. We spend a huge amount of energy producing the fruit right in the vineyards and then years to make and mature the wine so it makes sense to remove any potential risk of this quality being eroded due to glass colour.”

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