On 1 June, after over 160 years of exclusively importing wines into the UK, Mentzendorff will commercially add its first-ever English sparkling wine producer, Hambledon Vineyard, to it’s portfolio.
It’s a fitting match as Hambledon Vineyard is also the UK’s oldest commercial vineyard, founded in 1952.
It is an exciting time for the two to join forces as Hambledon have recently increased plantings taking the total acres under vine to over 200. This is coupled with the building of a 1.8 million bottle storage facility ensuring that all wine can continue to be aged on site as sales grow. Currently under construction, the facility is carefully cut into the Sussex chalk overlooking the vineyards and adjacent to the only gravity-fed, state-of-the-art winery in the UK.
Hambledon Vineyard is also beginning work on a visitor facility and tasting room which will have the potential to welcome up to 50,000 visitors each year, exploring the story behind the wines and increasing consumer awareness.
Ian Kellett, managing director for Hambledon Vineyard, said: “Hambledon has already come a long way, but there remain many opportunities for us ahead and we have a number of new projects in the pipeline.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Mentzendorff, and are looking forward to benefitting from their distribution and in-depth knowledge of the premium sparkling category to continue to develop the presence of our current range and future releases.”
Andrew Hawes, managing director for Mentzendorff, added: “Hambledon Vineyard is a natural addition to our portfolio of family-owned wine companies all of whom represent the very highest quality from their respective regions.
“We have followed the development of English sparkling wine with great interest and are very excited to be, for the first time, offering our customers a unique complementary portfolio of the highest quality Champagne and sparkling wines – placing Hambledon (where it justifiably belongs within English Sparking Wine) alongside Champagne Bollinger, Champagne Ayala & Langlois-Chateau Crémant de Loire, in a market for quality sparkling wine that continues to grow and excite huge interest from the trade and consumers.”