Chapel Down’s Ashford Story
Amongst the beautiful country lanes of Tenterden sits the striking home of a successful brand with big ambitions. Chapel Down Group plc is England’s leading wine maker, established in 2001.
It provides customers such as M&S, Waitrose, Majestic, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and the Savoy with premium top-end wines, made here within the Ashford borough.
Chapel Down welcomes more than 50,000 visitors to its winery every year to enjoy the vineyards and taste its famous still and sparkling wines as they dine at its superb restaurant.
Located within an area of outstanding natural beauty, the vineyard is enhanced by its proximity to other local tourist attractions, such as the Tenterden steam railway and the many nearby historic villages drawing visitors to the area.
The company employs 42 local people to bring the premium wines from field to glass. They are the driving force of the business. As Frazer Thompson, Chief Executive of the Chapel Down Group, says:
“Our people have real passion for the brand, they are all shareholders in the business and their infectious enthusiasm is one of the keys to our success.
“People are crucial to what we do and they all love the joy of living and working in such a beautiful environment. We believe that better people make better businesses and better brands. It’s certainly true of our staff.”
Exciting plans for further growth are in full swing.
Aside from continuing to lead the charge in English wine through increased plantings and more winery investment, Chapel Down has successfully diversified into the beer and cider market using its winemaking knowledge and techniques to make better and more innovative products.
Staying true to its Kent roots, Chapel Down is currently developing a custom-built brewery in the heart of Ashford, right next to Ashford International rail station. The much anticipated brewery and visitor centre is sure to be a popular addition to this area of the town centre.