Nyetimber has announced that it has started its pre-planned vineyard expansion by planting 195,000 vines covering 42 hectares at a new site in Kent.

Along with the replanting of 10,000 vines covering 2.5 hectares at the estate’s main vineyard in West Sussex, this will enable the English sparkling wine company to produce on average an additional 220,000 bottles per annum when the new vines reach maturity in 2023-24.

This pre-planned expansion is carrying on despite the challenging trading conditions and it represents the second largest vine planting programme to have been undertaken by Nyetimber in its 30-year history.

The company also notes that this move reflects the long-term forecast growth in demand for its wines in the UK and internationally.

Nyetimber’s new vineyard, comprising Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, is near the village of Thurnham in Kent on what was an arable field on the Kent Downs. Identifying this suitable location has taken years of research to find the right site where geology, soil and aspect all come together. The site sits on a chalk base where the rich chalk loams have been supporting farming families for generations.

Nyetimber said it typically expects a planting success rate of 99% and its aim is “not to make each vineyard site taste the same”. Instead each site should have “its own sense of place and unique character” to give even more blending components to the winemakers.

The estate’s ten vineyards across West Sussex, Hampshire and Kent, now have 327 hectares under vine of which 260 hectares will be producing this year.

Eric Heerema, Owner and CEO of Nyetimber commented: “This expansion of our vineyards reflects our confidence in the sustained long-term growth of the brand. We can’t wait for these new vines to reach their full potential and the planting programme underscores our confidence, commitment and endeavour to produce the best possible English Sparkling Wine.”