English vineyard Cobble Hill, near to the north Norfolk coast, has been listed for sale by estate agency Knight Frank, which said it is seeking offers in excess of £1.3m ($1.58m).
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Bacchus grape varieties are planted at the 3.6-hectare (ha) vineyard (nine acres), which has chalky soils reminiscent of France’s Champagne region, according to Knight Frank.
A key part of the deal is an additional 19.4 hectares (48 acres) of land that is considered suitable for vineyards, potentially offering scope for a buyer to significantly expand the estate.
It’s been a boom period for UK wine. Alongside a string of international awards for sparkling and still wines, vineyard plantings have increased 74% in five years, according to WineGB.
Norfolk wines have won awards, but the region has largely flown under-the-radar as a vineyard setting so far, WineGB data showed.
James Osborn, partner in Knight Frank’s viticulture team, said things are changing. ‘Kent and Sussex have long been the most popular regions for growing vines in the UK. However, the East Anglia coast is fast becoming an established English wine region,’ he said.
‘Cobble Hill is a rare and exciting opportunity for a new entrant or established wine grower to own a special part of the UK wine sector.’
Robert Perowne, the driving force behind Cobble Hill Vineyard, first planted vines there in 2016 and is now producing around 20,000 bottles per year alongside winemaker Chris Hatto.
UK vineyards see £480m investment
Around £480m has been invested in UK vineyards and wineries in the past five years, significantly above capital investment levels in the preceding five-year period, according to Strutt & Parker, an estate agency and property consultancy.
The best UK vineyards, such as those planted on ideal sites and with a strong track record of producing high quality grapes, can sell for more than £35,000 per planted acre (0.4ha), said Strutt & Parker’s summer 2023 viticulture report.
It also reported growing buyer interest in parts of East Anglia, among other areas.
‘Over recent months we have noticed buyers are increasingly looking to Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, which share many of the same characteristics as East and West Sussex, Kent, Surrey and Hampshire, but where there is perhaps more untapped potential for planting vines,’ the report said.
International wine producers are continuing to take notice. US-based Jackson Family Wines announced a major project to produce English sparkling wines earlier this year.
Vineyards are located across many parts of England and Wales, but the top six areas in terms of total vines planted are: Kent: total hectares 1,033 | 26% of total West Sussex: 570ha | 15% East Sussex: 493ha | 13% Hampshire: 380ha | 10% Essex: 325ha | 8% Surrey: 127ha | 3% Data source: WineGB, 2023
Where are most UK vineyards located?
Vineyards are located across many parts of England and Wales, but the top six areas in terms of total vines planted are:
Kent: total hectares 1,033 | 26% of total
West Sussex: 570ha | 15%
East Sussex: 493ha | 13%
Hampshire: 380ha | 10%
Essex: 325ha | 8%
Surrey: 127ha | 3%
Data source: WineGB, 2023