Introducing The Wine Sanctuary, our new state-of-the-art tasting room at the Chapel Down winery

We are thrilled to announce the opening of a new tasting room at our winery in Kent.  ‘The Wine Sanctuary’ is a custom-built tasting room designed by award-winning Kent architects, Guy Hollaway, and featuring a bespoke wine bar created by leading British designer, Stephen Webster MBE.

The Wine Sanctuary will enable us to meet the growing demand of people seeking to deepen their knowledge of high quality wines that continue to surprise and delight people in the UK and around the world. The new facility will welcome up to 60 guests at a time for in-depth tastings of the range with one of the WSET-trained tour guides and, on occasion, with Head Winemaker Josh Donaghay-Spire. Whilst at Tenterden, visitors are also able to tour the winery and vineyards as well as dine at the Bib Gourmand-awarded restaurant, The Swan, and purchase wines and local produce from the Shop. Developing and enhancing the offer at the winery is expected to increase the number of higher spenders to the area positively impacting both the economy and jobs in the local area.

The Wine Sanctuary has been designed by RIBA award-winning Kent architects Guy Hollaway and takes inspiration from the natural materials of the surrounding Kent countryside.  Situated within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the building has stunning view across the Tenterden vineyard with an outdoor terrace overlooking the vines.

The centrepiece of the tasting room is a bespoke wine bar designed by leading British jewellery designer, Stephen Webster MBE. Inspired by the iconic chalk coastline of Kent and drawing on Stephen’s fearless design aesthetic; the wine bar features a striking copper bar top emblazoned with a Chapel Down dictum; ‘Great Minds Drink Alike’. The bar front features a chalk resin façade encrusted with shards of Kent flint, paying homage to the weathered edges of the White Cliffs of Dover and free-draining chalk soils of the North Downs where our vineyards are situated.

Born in Kent, Stephen is best known for his revolutionary approach to jewellery and cutting edge designs which has attracted a loyal celebrity following from clients such as Madonna, Kate Moss, Johnny Depp and Charlize Theron.  This latest collaboration with Chapel Down is Stephen’s first foray into furniture design.

Chapel Down Managing Director, Mark Harvey, said: “We’re thrilled to be opening the doors of The Wine Sanctuary to the growing number of pilgrims visiting Chapel Down each year, both from the UK and increasingly abroad. We are creating a wonderful setting amongst our vines from which to taste Chapel Down’s range of award winning wines. And the best bit is the design has been orchestrated by Stephen Webster – a now global talent and Guy Hollaway architects who, like us, hail from the County of Kent!”

Stephen Webster MBE added: “I have long been a supporter of Chapel Down and so was delighted to work on this project with them. The beautiful Kent landscape, which plays a pivotal part in Chapel Down’s heritage, has always inspired my work.  My work is about a commitment and an opportunity to share an emotional connection – two values I see as intrinsic to winemaking.”

Having recently been awarded a Visit England accolade in ‘recognition of service excellence’ and a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for consistently high-scoring reviews, we welcomes over 50,000 visitors to the winery each year with experiences ranging from a guided tours and tutored tastings to dining and afternoon tea packages.

The Wine Sanctuary will be open to the public from St George’s Day – 23rd April 2017.  A guided tour of the vineyards and winery together with a tutored wine tasting is £15.00 per person and available daily from April until November.  The winery also offers a range of gift experiences, including the popular Classic Gift Experience for £60.00 per person which includes a three course lunch.  Please click here to learn more about our Gift Experiences.