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Hattingley's Simon Robinson steps up to the helm of English Wine Producers

Published:  11 May, 2016

Simon Robinson, owner of Hattingley Vineyards in Hampshire, has been appointed Chairman of marketing organisation the English Wine Producers (EWP).

Robinson's appointment is part of a major overhaul and restructure of the EWP in which four English wine producers have joined the EWP board.

Robinson said Tamara Roberts from Ridgeview, Frazer Thompson from Chapel Down and Ann Linder from Direct Wines, owned by Laithwaites, had joined him on the EWP board.

"There may be more board members in the future as we have asked for the EWP statute to allow more than six board members," Robinson told

Robinson said there were seven key producers known as the 'seven wise men' or 'seven earls' who are expected to reshape the EWP as it gears up for expansion and further exports.

Robinson was a senior partner at the law firm Slaughter and May before planting his first vines at Hattingley in Hampshire in 2008.

He replaces the temporary chair Julian Barnes from Biddenden Vineyards who had taken up the reigns of the EWP following the death of Mike Roberts of Ridgeview.

"Since Mike Roberts demise the EWP has had a temporary Chair so Simon's appointment is very welcome," said Mark Driver, owner of the Rathfinny Estate in East Sussex.

"Several members of the EWP are joining the board to give it renewed impetus to promote English wines both here and overseas," said Driver.

Ian Kellett from Hambledon Vineyard welcomed Robinson's appointment and the restructure of the EWP, which he said would be about "results rather than the process."

Digby Estate and Levanthorpe Vineyard in Yorkshire have also backed the new moves at the EWP.

"There is much discussion in the EWP about gearing up to the future - we all want expertise across the range in terms of board members," George Bowden, owner of Leventhorpe said.

"The old guard and the new comers to English wine will be represented at EWP- both smaller and larger growers," he said.