black chalk expansion

Jacob Leadley left,

Black Chalk gains £1.5m funding for expansion

04 September, 2019

English Sparkling Wine brand Black Chalk has secured investment from two new backers alongside additional investment from the current directors and an EU fund.

The Hampshire brand, which launched last year, will use the capital to create the first Black Chalk winery and tasting room as well as expand the team, with a number of positions being created.

The buildings will be leased on a long-term contract from Fullerton Estate where a new winery will be built to allow Black Chalk to tap into the winery tourism market. The build is expected to commence in late 2019 with completion scheduled for the summer of 2020 in time for the first harvest.

The investment, which amounts to just over £1.5m, comprises an agricultural grant from the EU Leader Programme, via the Loddon and Test Local Action Group – one of the final ones to be approved before Brexit is due to take effect – and private investment from two individuals: Justin Bache and Kenya Matsumoto. 

The overall vision is to establish a creative space for individuals wanting to make wine but lacking the facilities and Black Chalk’s winemaker and co-founder, Jacob Leadley, will welcome the process.

Leadley said: “Having had a very successful first year, we are now able to fulfil our original ambitions for Black Chalk.  Until now one of the missing links has been the lack of our own facilities, which will enable us to grow to satisfy demand, although we will remain a boutique operation.

“The opportunity to collaborate on additional wine brands will be incredibly satisfying and also allow Black Chalk to be at the heart of what is now one of the paciest and most exciting wine industries in the world.” 

The Black Chalk team will also expand, with three full time positions to be created with start dates in 2019.  These will include assistant winemaker and aales and events manager.

Leadley will remain winemaker and also take on the CEO role while co-founder, Andrew Seden will become sales and events director and Rebecca Leadley, Marilyn Seden and Bill Seden will continue as directors.

Black Chalk currently produces two vintage wines; Classic and Wild Rose.  Both wines are small batch, made in the traditional method and are a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir.

Digital Edition

Drinks International digital edition is available ahead of the printed magazine. Don’t miss out, make sure you subscribe today to access the digital edition and all archived editions of Drinks International as part of your subscription.


La'Mel Clarke

Service isn’t servitude: the skill of hosting

La’Mel Clarke, front of house at London’s Seed Library, looks at the forgotten art of hosting and why it deserves the same respect as bartending.