Managing director of Hambledon Vineyard Ian Kellett has announced plans to expand the estate’s facilities in response to growing demand. He also applauded government support for rural development and food and drink businesses in the UK.
Speaking as he welcomed Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery (Con) to Hambledon Vineyard, Kellett said, “Hambledon has had a fantastic year in 2015 and we are now planning to expand our facilities to deal with the increased demand after winning two major sparkling wine competitions in as many months. It may not have been possible to produce the wines that are now winning these awards without the enabling funding we received from the UK Government (DEFRA RDPE) and the EU in 2011.”
Hampshire contains the Lion’s share of the chalk in the South Downs and so Kellett believes that finding the optimal slopes, altitudes and microclimates locally will prove far more possible than looking to Kent and Sussex, which are mostly green sandstone. He believes that Hampshire will be recognized in the future as England’s vineyard county, much as Kent is the garden of England.
Hollingbery visited Hambledon to congratulate the team on scooping Best International Sparkling Wine in the Bollicine del Mondo and winning the recent Noble Rot magazine English Sparkling Wine v Champagne blind tasting.
Hampshire County Council’s Rural Champion, Cllr Rob Humby, who arranged the visit, added: “Rural businesses such as Hambledon Vineyard show what Hampshire can achieve against the very best in the world. I will certainly be raising a glass of their wine with my family on Christmas Day.”