Walpole, the industry body for the UK’s luxury sector, has selected Simpsons’ Wine Estate, based in Barham near Canterbury, as one of the twelve 2020 Brands of Tomorrow - a development programme, which supports growing luxury businesses.
Walpole launched its flagship Brands of Tomorrow programme in 2007 with the vision to secure the long-term growth of the UK’s luxury sector by building a pipeline of next-generation brands. Now, more than 120 brands have completed the development programme and many that have participated have not only grown significantly, but have also found international success – Orlebar Brown, Bremont, Nyetimber, Emilia Wickstead, Miller Harris, Astley Clarke, amongst others. Simpsons' Wine Estate is only the second winery to be selected for the programme.
Helen Brocklebank, CEO, Walpole said, “Huge congratulations to Simpsons' Wine Estate on being selected as a Brand of Tomorrow 2020. The whole panel were enormously impressed by their commitment to exceptional quality and their wine-making skills honed in the French tradition now being applied to the huge opportunity of the emerging English sparkling wine industry. We all look forward to seeing their business go from strength-to-strength this year.”
The aim of the initiative is to strengthen “the success and dynamic growth of the luxury industry through transference of skills, experience and know-how to ensure continued creative development”.
Speaking at the announcement of the 2020 Brands of Tomorrow on Thursday 27th February, Balthazar Fabricius, Chairman, Brands of Tomorrow, said, “Starting a business is hard, producing goods and services of quality is even harder. Passion, vision, energy and daring to risk are some of the rare commodities that fuel this epic endeavour.”
Charles Simpson, co-founder of Simpsons' Wine Estate comments, “We are thrilled to be part of this prestigious Walpole programme, which we think will be of enormous benefit to our young and dynamic business as we move into the next stage of its development. We look forward to working with Balthazar and his team and relish the opportunity to learn from their experience in the UK’s luxury sector and elevate our business even further.”
During the 12-month programme the selected brands attend a series of practical workshops on key business development topics, are paired with a mentor or mentors, who are senior leadership figures from across the luxury sector and are also given access to Walpole’s established membership of over 270 of Britain's most prestigious luxury businesses and cultural institutions.
Ruth and Charles Simpson have made award-winning wines at their stunning Domaine Sainte Rose in southern France, for the past 18 years. In 2014 they brought their savoir-faire back to the UK, establishing Simpsons’ Wine Estate in Kent, with an aspiration to create the finest quality Method Traditional English sparkling wine. With 30 hectares of vineyards established on the iconic chalk terroir of the North Downs, the Simpsons saw their first harvest in 2016. With a strong focus on provenance, Simpsons’ Wine Estate now produces a highly-acclaimed range of exclusively estate grown still and sparkling wines, including the gold-medal-winning Chalklands Classic Cuvée 2016.