Thu, 15 Sep 2022 | COMMERCIAL PROPERTY
The Chilford Hall Vineyard and Winery in Linton, East Anglia has been put up for sale with a guide price of £2 million. The first vines at the vineyard were planted in 1972 when the revival of the UK winemaking industry was in its earliest stages, making it one of the UK’s oldest vineyards.
The vineyard was founded by late entrepreneur Sam Alper OBE, who also founded the East Anglian Wine Growers Association (now WineGB East) and served as a board member of the UK Vineyards Association (now WineGB).
The business has been put up for sale due to its current owner, Sam Alper’s widow Fiona Alper, wishing to retire. The sale of the business is being handled by property agents Cheffins, who called it an “exceptional opportunity”.
The vineyard covers 22 acres and grows nine different vine varieties. It produces red, white, rose and sparkling wines, totalling more than 18,000 bottles each year. 18 acres are currently planted, with Cheffins saying that the four remaining acres offer “scope for further planting or development of the vineyard".
Along with the 22-acre site, the sale also includes around 45,000 bottles of the estate’s wine, as well as the winery and wine-making equipment. The winery is comprised of a period timber framed building, a converted Dutch barn and bonded cellar. Cheffins says that the 6-acre winery site includes 2.35 acres of undeveloped land, offering further scope for expansion.
The winery has invested in the latest wine-making equipment and produces wine under contract for eight other East Anglia growers, with a further three on stream over the coming years. In addition, it offers services including vine planting and viticulture consultancy.
The vineyard has proven a popular visitor attraction, hosting vineyard tours and tastings. Prior to a fire in 2012, the estate also regularly hosted conferences and other events, such as weddings.
Commenting on the sale, Cheffins joint Managing Partner Simon Gooderham said: “This is an exceptional opportunity for a buyer to purchase one of the oldest vineyards in England and to take this already well-regarded business yet further. The flinty soils overlying chalk at Chilford Hall are ideal for the production of English sparkling wine, which has been an expanding area of success for the business.”
"The English wine market is evolving at pace, and we have seen a growth in interest in this emerging sector within the rural market. While there are now believed to be over 700 vineyards in England and Wales, few of these are as well as established as Chilford Hall, and with its free-draining soil, it has conditions similar to those found in the Champagne region of France, making it perfect for sparkling wine production.”
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