Britain’s biggest winemaker Chapel Down is expanding its presence in the spirits sector with plans to introduce a bar, restaurant and gin microdistillery in King’s Cross.
The 5,000sq ft site by Regent’s Canal, near the bustling restaurant scene of Granary Square, will centre around the microdistillery’s gin still and incorporate ‘experiential elements’, details of which Chapel Down remains tight-lippped on. It will serve Chapel Down’s full range of wines, beer and spirits, as well as some ‘guest products’ from partners.
Chapel Down entered the spirits market in November last year, when it launched its distinctively packaged Bacchus Gin and Chardonnay Vodka, which are made with grape skins from its winery. Currently listed in Mr Fogg’s, Hix and All Bar One venues, the spirits achieved sales of £300,000 in the first half of 2018.
Despite talk of the UK reaching ‘peak gin’, Chapel Down’s managing director of wines Mark Harvey remains confident about the Bacchus Gin’s growth opportunities in the heaving category.
‘Super-premium gin remains in strong growth, which is forecast to continue, and yes it is crowded, but as ever truly differentiated products that offer great taste and refreshment win through,’ he told Imbibe.
Chapel Down is currently benefitting from the increased popularity of English wine and is growing its Curious beer and cider operations with a new brewery in Ashford, Kent. It reported year-on-year sales growth of 15% to £5.7m for the six months to 30 June 2018.