Award-winning English winery Wickham Vineyard has gone into administration, according to local press reports.
Wickham, which was established in Hampshire in 1984, filed for bankruptcy just before Christmas, with the loss of more than 20 jobs, although it is understood that allied businesses The Vineyard restaurant and WineShare are continuing to trade.
Reports in the Southern Daily Echo suggested that Wickham had gone out of business thanks to problems with sister business Wine Shak, a retail chain rescued from the Threshers collapse, but which went into voluntary liquidation in November.
However, there were also thought to be problems with trading over the past year, plus a lack of fresh investment.
From an initial vineyard of six acres, Wickham increased its plantings to 18 acres of vines on a 40-acre estate, including 10 different grape varieties including Pinot Noir, Rondo, Dornfelder, Bacchus, Reichensteiner and Kerner.
Three of its wines were served at a lunch attended by HM The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in Walthamstow, London, last year.
Three other Wickham wines – its Special Reserve Red 2006, Special Reserve Fume NV and Vintage Selection Dry NV – won medals or commendations in the Decanter World Wine Awards 2009.
Some of Wickham’s wines were listed by Berry Bros & Rudd, which described the producer as a ‘standard bearer’ for English wine.
The future of the Wickham winery facilities and vineyard is as yet unclear.
Neither Wickham nor insolvency practitioner Benedict Mackenzie – the business’ administrator – commented on the reports.
Written by Richard Woodard