Black Dog Hill eyes global expansion

Black Dog Hill eyes global expansion

A family run vineyard in Westmeston, East Sussex, is eyeing global expansion after landing a major deal with supermarket giant Waitrose.

Black Dog Hill Vineyard is a family operation involving three generations, with high ambitions to lead the emergence of boutique, grower-style English sparkling wines.

Founded in 2007 by husband and wife team Jim and Anja Nolan, Black Dog Hill is championing the evolution of English Sparkling wine.

The duo began production in 2007 however their first signature bottle, the 2011 Classic cuvee, didn’t mature until 2015.

Produced in a limited quantity, the cuvee was an exceptionally ripe vintage and helped kick start the vineyards rapid growth.

The product saw the company storm onto the English Sparkling Wine scene winning a much coveted gold award from the IWSC, a silver from the prestigious Decanter competition and a bronze at the IWC.

The vineyard has since gone on to land a lucrative deal with Waitrose as well as being stocked by a number of leading online retailers.

Anja Nolan, managing director, said: “This year has seen our Black Dog Hill Classic Cuvée 2011 launch on, meaning that more people than ever can taste our delicious, home grown fizz - a gold medal winner at the prestigious International Wine and Spirit Competition.

“We’re excited to now be working closely with Waitrose who are a true champion for the English wine industry.”

Black Dog Hill is now eyeing further growth as the family operation continues to grow, and husband Jim, is determined to ensure its family values remain intact.

He told BQ: “In three years time we hope to see the company grow organically and expand our global presence as demand for English wine continues to soar.

“We are proud of our product, which has already scooped a number of top accolades, and we are already exploring opportunities to export to Ireland, Sweden and Hong Kong.

“English wine has a bright future and whilst it is currently quite a small industry, I am confident the sector will continue to grow over the coming years.”

The latest research by Waitrose revealed that sales of English wine such as Black Dog Hill continue to rise, with sales in the supermarket up 13% as customers celebrate home-grown wines. 

Specifically, still English wines are up 14% year-on-year at Waitrose and shoppers are often choosing English sparkling wine over its French and Italian rivals, with sales up 12% compared to last year.

Waitrose wine buyer Becky Hull said: “We’re proud to stock the widest range of English wine in a supermarket.

“We continue to introduce wines from new English vineyards for our customers to experiment and enjoy.”


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