A country lane on the outskirts of Tenterden is an unlikely location for one of the UK’s most successful and ambitious brands.
Chapel Down has transformed the face of England’s wine industry, producing a world-class range of sparkling and still wines championed by leading chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver.
The company has drawn global acclaim with an impressive array of international awards that has helped put Ashford borough on the global wine map. Fifty thousand people visit its Tenterden winery, restaurant and shop each year.
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 ‘beer cathedral’ 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.
The architect-designed Curious Brewery will produce the Curious Brew range and will be a visitor attraction in its own right, with guided tours, a restaurant, bar and store. Its strategic location a short walk from the rail station connects the brewery team and its visitors to London and Paris, and the road network into the UK, Europe and beyond via the M20 corridor.
“Why shouldn’t a small company from Ashford grow and take over the world? That’s what I’m trying to do.”Frazer Thompson , Chief Executive, Chapel Down Group
Its position close to attractions, including: the Kent & Sussex Steam Railway, Biddenden Vineyard, Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens and Bodiam Castle make it an appealing tourism destination.
Chapel Down deserves its reputation for continual innovation and in recent years has diversified to produce highly-acclaimed beer, cider and spirits.
“These days, breweries are built on industrial estates on the outskirts of towns. We want to put that right, building a modern-day brewery for today’s consumer,” Frazer says.
“Why shouldn’t a small company from Ashford grow and take over the world? That’s what I’m trying to do.”
Chapel Down has proven to be one of Ashford’s blockbusting stories, leaving us curious for the next installment from this leading brand.