Forget fine wines – investors are snapping up English vineyards

Because specific conditions are needed to grow vines – well-drained soil and a south-facing location not subject to late frosts – investors are willing to pay a premium for the land.

While most arable land in Britain sells for between £8,000 and £10,000 an acre, vineyard land typically sells for between £15,000 and £25,000, according to Strutt & Parker. Savills said more prestigious vineyards could cost between £30,000 and £35,000 an acre. Chilford Hall, one of Britain’s oldest wineries, is up for sale for £2million.

Knight Frank recently sold Hidden Spring Vineyard in West Sussex off-market for £3.05million to South African buyers who wanted to buy a business operating in the UK wine market. The property was blessed with a developed business and brand, as well as award-winning wine.

It can be expensive to start a business, but the returns can be worth it. Chapel Down recorded a 17% increase in sales last year to £16.9million.

Simon Gooderham of Cheffins, who manages the Chilford Hall sale, said many farmer customers were looking to capitalize on interest in British wine to diversify away from traditional farm income.

“As direct farm subsidies begin to decline, many farmers are actively looking for additional sources of income, and winemaking can be an interesting and fun alternative,” he said.

About Michael Brafford

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