Inside the Cambridge-based vineyard and winery on the market for £2million

Chilford Hall Vineyard and Winery, one of England’s oldest established commercial wineries, has gone on the market with a guide price of £2million. Here’s everything you need to know about the nine-hectare vineyard, its grapes and other undeveloped land.

Just eight miles southeast of the University of Cambridge is Chilford Hall Vineyard and Winery, one of the oldest established commercial wineries in the UK.

It was created and developed by the late Little Chef entrepreneur Sam Alper OBE, whose partner Fiona Alper has now decided to sell the property to someone who can take the vineyard and winery “to the next level”.

The property currently produces around 18,000 bottles of red, white rosé and sparkling wines each year.

Sam Alper OBE took part in the 1983 Great English Wine Rally by driving samples of his wine to the Hotel George V in Paris in his 1930 Vintage Rolls Royce and was a member of the WineGB board.

Fiona Alper said: “I’ve met so many interesting people and tasted and dined in the most amazing places, from Napa Valley to Hungary. I now want to retire and think it’s the right time for someone with passion and energy to take the vineyard and winery to the next level.

Chilford Hall Vineyard and Winery has nearly nine hectares of vineyards, with established plantings of Müller-Thurgau, Schönburger, Otega, Reichensteiner, Pinot Noir, Rondo, Regent, Dornfelder and Siegerrebe grapes.

The vines of Chilford Hall, the Cambridge vineyard in the market

The cellar buildings, set around a grassy courtyard, are described by estate agent Cheffins, who is handling the sale, as “a period timber frame building, a converted Dutch barn and a bonded cellar which includes of the white marble pillars of the Long Bar at Waterloo station”. .

The site comprises 2.35 acres of undeveloped land, providing scope for further expansion.

Head winemaker Mark Barnes, who studied viticulture and oenology at Plumpton College, has been with the business for 16 years, although it was not immediately clear whether he would keep his job at the vineyard and the winery. cellar.

Chilford Hall has benefited from wine tourism in the form of wine tours and tastings, both of which currently take place on land that the vendor retains, but would lease to a new owner.

Wine tourism is currently experiencing a boom in the UK and beyond, with Google searches for UK winery stays soaring 110% and Airbnb launching a new winery category on its platform.

Simon Gooderham, Co-Managing Partner at Cheffins, said of Chilford Hall:

“This is an exceptional opportunity for a buyer to acquire one of England’s oldest vineyards and take this already well-regarded venture one step further. The flint floors covering the chalk at Chilford Hall are ideal for the production of English sparkling wine, which has been an expanding area of ​​success for the company. The English wine market is changing at a rapid pace and we have seen growing interest in this emerging sector within the rural market. Although there are now over 700 vineyards in England and Wales, few are as well established as Chilford Hall, and with its free-draining soil it has conditions similar to those found in the Champagne region of France, which makes it perfect for producing sparkling wine.

You can find out more by visiting the List of Cheffins of the sale of the vineyard.

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