Frazer Thompson, Chapel Down

Chapel Down boss Frazer Thompson has hailed a £4.3m investment

English winemaker Chapel Down is set to expand production of its wines and beer business after securing £4.3m of new equity funding.

The money will be used to increase planting of vines across Kent, Sussex and Essex, and to invest in a brewery in Kent to expand its beer range, Curious.

The expansion will be overseen by the former CEO of Scottish & Newcastle and C&C Group, John Dunsmore, who joins the board. He is also the founder of the Hothouse Club, which has invested £2.4m in Chapel Down.

Frazer Thompson, CEO of Chapel Down Wines, said the investment heralded huge opportunities and a new phase in Chapel Down’s development: “Just over a decade ago our industry and business was little more than a bit of a novelty.  Today we are a prestigious, internationally recognised brand with world-class credentials.

“This investment will allow us to continue to increase the supply for our award-winning brands to meet growing demand and further improve the quality and reach of both our wine and beer in the UK and internationally.”

The Tenterden-based company supplies wines to retailers including Majestic, Morrison’s, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, while its three-strong range of beers are available online, in selected Waitrose stores, and on draught at pubs, restaurants and hotels across the South East of England. It has also seen growth in its export business, and now sells to Japan, Finland, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Holland, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Canada and France.