Meet the Team
Our team are at the heart of everything we do, their passion and attention to detail are what makes us tick.
CEO and Winemaker
In 2009 Jacob left a comfortable job in London to retrain as a winemaker at Plumpton college. 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 after 7 years, Jacob left his winemaker job at Hattingley Valley to focus on Black Chalk full time. Jacob also currently chairs WineGB Wessex.
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, helping to make several award winning wines. She has also spent some time making wine in Champagne, and in 2021 she graduated from Plumpton College with an MSc degree in Viticulture and Oenology, which she studied for outside of work.
In 2013, James left a high flying career as a pilot to pursue a fifteen year love and passion of viticulture. Whilst flying he attended Plumpton College which was promptly followed by five months in Northern Italy. On his return James held a variety of vineyard positions, including working at Lympstone Manor with Michael Caines MBE. James was enticed back to Hampshire to manage the vineyards of Black Chalk in 2020. Though he has many interests, you will almost certainly find him in the vineyard.
Justin was a relative latecomer to the wine business, having previously spent almost twenty years working in the energy industry. Although Justin is our numbers man, he does have some credentials in the practical side of winemaking - he owns a small vineyard in Argentina and studied Viticulture and Oenology at Plumpton College. It was during his time at Plumpton, whilst gaining some experience as a harvest cellar hand, that Justin first met Jacob. He was immediately impressed by Jacob's vision for Black Chalk and was delighted to join the team in 2019.
Events and Marketing Manager
Rebecca joined us in the September 2022 as Events and Marketing Manager. Originally from Birmingham, Rebecca has spent the last 10+ years working in the wine industry across retail, cellar door and marketing roles, both in the UK and South Australia. Rebecca is responsible for Black Chalk's onsite and offsite events schedule, as well as developing the strategic direction of the brand.
Nick joined us in the summer of 2020 and is our General Manager. Originally from Portsmouth, Nick studied Music at Kingston University. Whilst it remains a passion, his career has been mainly hospitality-based - running restaurants and other retail venues over the last fifteen years. Nick oversees the vineyard tours and our Tasting Room.
Susie hosts our vineyard and winery tours, helps Nick oversee the Tasting Room and is generally willing to do anything to learn more about viticulture and winemaking. She spent a long and fulfilling career within the airline industry as cabin crew and during the summer of 2020 decided to relinquish her love of travel for her love of wine. Having gained some varied experience within the emerging English wine industry she joined us in March 2022. She is currently enjoying studying for the WSET diploma via the WSET’s school in London.