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Barclays supports Gusbourne Plc with a £2m loan to purchase Gusbourne Estate

The loan will help support an expansion of the company’s vineyards in Appledore, and improve and expand the winery located on the Gusbourne Estate. Further investment and expansion is planned over the coming years.

Gusbourne Estate produces and distributes a range of premium still and sparkling wines from grapes grown on its own vineyards. The vineyards at Gusbourne Estate are situated on the low slopes of the ancient Kentish escarpment at Appledore. The 143 hectare Estate currently includes 20 hectares under vine cultivation with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. These vine plantings were started 10 years ago in 2003. Further expansion of these vineyards is now underway.

The Estate consists exclusively of south facing slopes, thereby ensuring that for most of the summer months the vines bask in a relatively warm and dry local microclimate. Located only 6 miles from the coast, the sea has a moderating influence on the weather, providing a long growing season. Together with Gusbourne Estate’s clay and sandy loam soils, the growing conditions help ensure the production of exceptional quality grapes.

The first mention of Gusbourne Estate dates back to 1410, when John de Gosborne’s will was filed. Subsequently the estate passed to Philip Chute, a man of distinction and great wealth who won fame and the gratitude of Henry VIII at the siege of Boulogne on September 14th, 1544. He had served as the standard bearer to the men of arms of the Kings Band. ‘Goosbourne’ as it was known then, carried the characteristic three geese crest that now adorns the small parish church in Appledore.

Gusbourne Estate pays heritage to this history by using the same three geese on their still and sparkling wine bottles.

Gusbourne Estate has won numerous awards for its wines since it started selling them in 2010. In November 2013, the company won two awards from the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC) which is widely acknowledged as one of the most prestigious and independent competitions of its type in the world. The two awards were the award for “English Wine Producer of the Year” and “Best Bottle Fermented Sparkling Wine” for its Gusbourne Estate Brut Reserve 2008.

Ben Walgate, CEO, Gusbourne Plc said: “We are delighted to be able to expand and further develop the Gusbourne Estate business which has already achieved great success with its wines. We see further market growth opportunity for the company’s premium English still and sparkling wine products both domestically and internationally. The expansion of the business at Gusbourne Estate in Kent will involve further vineyard plantings as well as an enlarged winery and visitor centre to attract the growing interest in wine tourism. We are very proud to be part of the Kent community and will remain closely involved with it as the business expands.”

Kevin Moule, Relationship Director at Barclays Kent said: “Over the last few years, Gusbourne Estate has developed a strong reputation for producing quality wines, winning many international awards. This expansion and investment will increase production, create new jobs, attract visitors to the area and allow the wines to be more widely available.”