Wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd and port producer Symington Wine Estates have confirmed their joint acquisition of Hampshire’s Hambledon Vineyard, following a £22.3 million takeover bid.
The bid, which was filed in September, has been declared unconditional after reaching 90% shareholder acceptance. This will now trigger the mandatory purchase of the remaining shares, leading to a complete acquisition.
Once the acquisition is finalised, both Berry Bros and Symington will own 50% of Hambledon, which is thought to be England’s oldest commercial vineyard.
As the English wine industry expands, Lizzy Rudd, chair of Berry Bros & Rudd said the vineyard has the “foundations and potential to lead the way in the English sparkling wine category”.
Rudd continued: “We share the same values and ethos [as Symington] and are delighted to be partnering to bring stability and growth to this business at a very exciting time for English sparkling wine.”
Hambledon currently has around 200 acres of vineyard on chalk soils, allowing for the production of 500,000 bottles per year.
Johnny Symington, chair of Symington Family Estates, said: “It was going to take something very special for us to make wine in a new country, having produced port and wine in Portugal for five generations.
“The quality of the wines is absolutely spectacular and is a reflection of the fantastic Hambledon terroir – with classic Champagne varieties planted exclusively on chalk soils and an extremely favourable microclimate situated in Hampshire close to the English Channel. We believe that these are world-class sparkling wines that will play a leading role in the development of English sparkling into a world-renowned fine wine.”