Chapel Down toasts soaring sales

Chapel Down toasts soaring sales

Sales at English winemaker Chapel Down have risen 34% to £8.18m for the year, but pre-tax losses also increased 70% to £279,000.

The Kent-based company invested £1.32m in planting 90 acres of new vineyards and purchasing new equipment, and hailed its "second best ever harvest".

It added that wine sales were up by 27% while beer and cider turnover grew 50%.

Chapel Down chief executive Frazer Thompson said: "Demand is continuing to rise and we are developing a very strong brand to ensure we continue to maximise the potential that is being created."

The firm also waded into the EU referendum debate, saying it would be affected if access to workers from the Continent was cut off.

"We would be affected, like all agriculturally based businesses, if we were not able to access EU workers for our viticulture and the expertise in winemaking available in Europe," the company said.