The Sussex-based Nyetimber winery has acquired a neighbouring 44-ha site in West Chiltington to help fulfil its expansion plans.

The site is currently a golf course, which is due to close on Sunday.

Nyetimber currently has 152 ha of land under vine with five vineyards in West Sussex and another in Hampshire.

Established in 1988, Nyetimber has led the way in English sparkling wine production.

It was the first English vineyard to grow Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, the three grapes used to make Champagne.

It still only grows those three varietals, producing five expressions of sparkling wine including its Classic Cuvée, a Blanc de Blancs and a Demi-Sec.

Julia Trustram-Eve, marketing director of trade body English Wine Producers, welcomed the move.

She told The Argus newspaper: “It’s extremely exciting news for the industry and any developments in growth are warmly welcomed. This shows commitment and longevity.”

Sales of Nyetimber increased by 393% at Waitrose last year, significantly over-indexing against the English sparkling wine category at the retailer, which grew 188% year on year.

Waitrose has a 60% share of English wine sales in the off-trade.

The WSTA predicts that English wine sales hit £100 million in 2015 and that by 2020 production will reach 12 million bottles a year, up from just over 6 million in 2014.

There are currently some 470 commercial vineyards in England and Wales, and 135 wineries.