The Story So Far
In 2009 a member of our family left a comfortable job in London to retrain as a winemaker. Fast forward 7 years and Jacob Leadley is the award-winning winemaker for the very successful Hattingley Valley. Over dinner with friends and family a couple of years ago, talk turned to the idea of creating small production sparkling wine from locally sourced grapes – Black Chalk was born! Since then, it has become the family’s passion and we are all extremely proud of it.
Black Chalk is a wine proud of its English heritage, with roots firmly planted in the chalklands of southern England. We use the traditional method to create Black Chalk, using the tried and tested grape varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
Black Chalk was used by the old masters to sketch ideas onto canvas before painstakingly creating a masterpiece. At Black Chalk Wines, we hand select the very best locally grown grapes before beautifully crafting each wine, they are not rushed but allowed time to age in order to produce English sparkling wine that stands out from the crowd.
And now, less than two years after the release of our first wines, we have a home.
Set in the stunning Test Valley, surrounded by the river and beautiful countryside,
we are building our very own winery.
At present, we have an elegant tasting room and shop where we can host tastings and talks. We also have a vine circle which provides a picturesque setting for our events.
The next stage of our ambitious project is to build our state of the art winery. We have secured over £1 million of additional funding, enabling us to create our dream winery. The overall vision is to establish a creative space – the first of its kind in the U.K. –which will allow collaborations with individuals wanting to make wine but lacking the facilities and expertise. Jacob will welcome working with those who are keen to be hands-on and part of the creative process.
Jacob will start this new phase of the business as CEO and Winemaker, while Andrew will continue as Sales Director with more of a focus on the new site and providing memorable experiences for visitors. New jobs will be created in the form of an Assistant Winemaker, a Vineyard Manager and a new sales role.
In addition to all this, early next year we will also have 30 acres of our own vines, some of the best quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier that this country has to offer.
We are thrilled at the prospect that this all holds. And we look forward to welcoming you to our new home!
Meet the Black Chalk Team
C.E.O and Winemaker
In 2009 Jacob left a comfortable job in London to retrain as a winemaker. Since then he has worked in the English wine industry producing multiple award winning wines. He has also worked in Champagne and New Zealand during this time. Black Chalk was launched in 2015 with Jacob as joint owner and Winemaker. In 2018, Jacob left his winemaker job to focus on Black Chalk full time.
C.O.O and Sales/Marketing Director
Andrew is Jacob’s Brother-In-Law, and is a co-founder of Black Chalk. He was introduced to the wine industry via Jacob, and has learnt on the job as well as attending several courses at Plumpton and with Wine GB. Andrew came from a very different background, before Black Chalk was conceived he ran a successful property development company, and prior to that he spent 5 years as a professional poker player! Andrew is very focused on delivering the famous Black Chalk branding across all areas of the business.
Contact Andrew for any sales or events enquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org
After studying English and Drama at university, Zoë spent a couple of years travelling the world; it was during this time she fell in love with winemaking whilst working for a sparkling winery in Australia. Upon returning to the UK, she became the UK’s first Winemaking Apprentice at Hattingley Valley Wines, progressing up to Assistant Winemaker, and helping to make several award winning wines. She has also spent some time making wine in Champagne, and is currently studying for her MSc degree in Viticulture and Oenology at Plumpton College.