Simpsons' plants Chardonnay vineyard to boost still wine production

English wine producer Simpsons’ Wine Estate has planted its third vineyard, with the aim of expanding its still wine production.

It has planted 35,000 Chardonnay vines, from four Burgundy still wine clones, across 8ha of the Bonny Bush Hill vineyard.

The new site is within two miles of Simpsons’ winery in Kent’s Elham Valley, minimising the handling of grapes during the production cycle.

Simpsons’ said the expansion would enable it to meet demand for its still wines in the UK and export markets that include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.

Founders Ruth and Charles Simpson planted their first 10ha of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Noir at the Roman Road vineyard in 2014.

A further 20ha of the same varieties was established at Railway Hill in 2016 and 2017.

Simpsons’ recently reached a major milestone with the release of the first non-vintage version of its award-winning Chalklands Classic Cuvée sparkling wine.

Charles Simpson said: “We are thrilled to be in a position to plant an additional 8ha of vines at this juncture in our business journey.

“The past decade has seen an incredible expansion of our initial aspiration to establish a purely classic method English sparkling wine business.

“Having now created a highly-regarded range of still wines, we are delighted with the direction that Simpsons’ Wine Estate has taken and are exceptionally proud of the incredible work and dedication of our talented team.”

Ruth Simpson added: “It has been wonderful to be able to establish a new vineyard site in such a prime position on the same chalk-rich soil.”

Ruth and Charles Simpson began making wine at Domaine de Sainte Rose, a 40ha estate in Languedoc, in 2002, before launching Simpsons’ in 2012.

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