A huge congratulations to Tenterden based vineyard, Chapel Down, for winning the Hidden Gem award in Visit Kent’s Tourism Awards 2018. Chapel Down were up against Copper Rivet Distillery and Solley’s ice Cream Parlour in the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year category, sponsored by Southeastern.
The scheme is all about motivating tourism businesses to create compelling experiences and adopt best practice. It rewards exceptional standards of customer service and outstanding overall visitor experiences.
Why we love local wine
The renaissance in English wine is in no small part attributable to Kent’s top-class wine producers – several of whom are based in our borough. The south-facing slopes, chalk soils and warm climate are ideal conditions for grape growing – not dissimilar to the Champagne region of France.
An interview with Frazer Thompson, CEO of Chapel Down.
Did you know, Ashford is home to wineries including Biddenden vineyards, Gusbourne Estate and Chapel Down?
We caught up with Frazer Thompson, CEO of Chapel Down, to find out more about his passion for wine.
Loveashford: Do you remember the first time you tried an English sparkling wine? What was your reaction? For those who have never tried English sparkling wine before, which wine would you suggest they start with?
Frazer: Vividly. Before I joined Chapel Down I was challenged by a friend to identify a glass of rather good sparkling wine. After 10 wrong guesses and £40 lost in bets, I discovered it was Chapel Down sparkling. I was gobsmacked. And financially poorer but curiously enriched. That was in summer 2001. I joined in the Autumn of 2001. There was a lot to do!