Food & Drink

Biggest investment to date as award-winning wine producer reveals plans for new £2m-plus winery

Justin Langham, Managing Director, Langham Wine Estate. Picture: Andrew Diprose.

By Andrew Diprose [email protected]

Published: June 4, 2024 | Updated: 4th June 2024

Dorset’s award-winning Langham Wine Estate is planning to build a new winery costing more than £2 million.

The wine producer, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, hopes to break ground before Christmas.

Revealing the plans to Dorset Biz News, Justin Langham, Managing Director, said: “The next challenge is we’re going to build a whole new winery which will be the biggest investment I have made to date here, something over £2 million.

“It’s a big step. We’ve invested quite a bit already but it’s been in smaller increments and gradually.

“We’ve utilised all old farm buildings for our winery, our wine store and our events space. That’s worked relatively well with relatively small investment.

“Our new winery is going to be a whole new building from scratch.

“I’m in the process of appointing architects, structural engineers and such like.

“I hope to be going for planning permission in the autumn.

“Assuming that goes according to plan, I want to start breaking ground before Christmas and have it up and running for August next year. That’s my timescale.

“If we get delayed at planning or delayed elsewhere that might slip. I think that’s doable but we’ll see.”

The Langham vineyard was originally established by Justin’s father, John, on a very small scale at Bingham’s Melcombe manor house.

In 2009 Justin decided to develop the rudimental vineyard into a commercial venture, and planted 30 acres just down the road at their Crawthorne Farm.

To keep up with the increasing demand for English sparkling wine, a further 45 acres of new vines were planted in 2022.

The vineyard now covers 85 acres with plans for annual production to hit 150,000 bottles.

The business employs 12 full and part-time staff and has a turnover in excess of £1 million.

Justin said: “Financially it’s worthwhile, we’re investing ever more amounts of capital.

“The past 15 years have raced by – it’s been unbelievable.

“It’s been a great journey and we’re still , in my view, only on the bottom one or two of the ladder and we’ve got a long way to go.

“I have an incredibly good young team here who are enthusiastic and keen. That’s what drives me as much as anything.

“They are challenging me the whole time. ‘Why don’t we do this?’, ‘why don’t we do that?, ‘why don’t we make it bigger?

“I say it’s all very well but you don’t have to pay the bills! But it’s great.

“I could just sit back and take it easy and say it’s going relatively well and coast at this level.

“Every year brings new challenges, whether it’s people, weather, politics or whatever but you have to adapt to these, make the best out of it and push on.

“There’s always bad news in the press and the media.

“Stuff happens all the time but you’ve got to think: how can I make a positive difference?

“Every change that comes along there will be winners and losers and I want to be a winner.”

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