19th May, 2014 by Lucy Shaw
Gloucestershire producer Three Choirs Vineyard has acquired struggling Hampshire estate Wickham Vineyard in order to up its still wine production.
Wickham Vineyard in Hampshire
Three Choirs’ managing director, Thomas Shaw, revealed that the acquisition of Wickham Vineyard was driven by a demand for still wines that outstrips the estate’s current production levels.
“We are delighted to have purchased such a well-known vineyard and look forward to restoring it to its former glory as a producer of quality English wines,” he said.
Three Choirs Wickham Vineyard is slated to open this June and will boast a shop and on-site restaurant with a seasonally focused menu, with a guest house due to be built later this year and vineyard tours in the pipeline.
The Three Choirs’ range, which includes a Bacchus, Siegerrebe, rosé, late harvest and a sparkling brut, are stocked by Waitrose and The Wine Society.
Wickham Vineyard was saved from administration last March by its former manager Wilhelm Mead, changing its named to Wickham Wine Estate, though the vineyard closed earlier this year.
The former operators are now trading solely as a wine distributor, Wickham Wine Sales, with some 75,000 bottles of wine, including a small range from France, Italy and New Zealand, continued to be sold via the Wickham Vineyard website.
Founded in 1984, the estate went into administration in December 2012 when the 14 stores it had bought from Threshers went under, causing 24 job losses.
The 20-acre estate produced some 80,000 bottles of wine a year from 10 different grape varieties.