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WineGB Wessex appoints Jacob Leadley as new chair

Published:  13 October, 2021

WineGB Wessex has appointed Black Chalk winemaker and CEO Jacob Leadley as its new chair from 9 November.

Leadley will replace outgoing chair, Tim Ingram Hill of Wiltshire’s Southcott Vineyard, who stands down after 10 years in the role. The regional wine body, which encompasses Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Wiltshire, currently has over 70 members.

Wine GB Wessex said that Leadley is one of a number of “next generation” winemakers now serving on the committee.

He has 10 years’ experience working in the English wine industry; initially at Hattingley where he was winemaker until 2018, and then more recently with his own winery, Black Chalk, which he launched in 2018.

He has served on the Wessex Wine committee since 2017.

WineGB Wessex is the third largest regional body of the organisation and is the most diverse in terms of vineyard size, with production ranging from hundreds of bottles to half a million bottles.

“WineGB Wessex has a long and rich history when it comes to viticulture and winemaking. The region is very diverse and home to large international producers, boutique wineries and smaller hidden gems,” said Leadley.

“I look forward to helping steer the WineGB Wessex Committee which has both experience and enthusiasm. Both will be needed as we aim to expand and update our communications, events and support for our community of growers. Wessex has played a substantial role in the success seen across our industry in recent years, and the committee and I very much look forward to building on this.”

Ingram Hill said: “It is now the time for the bright young winemakers with their new ideas to take over the leadership of the industry and Jacob is a fine example of the talent that is coming to the fore in English winemaking. I am confident he will do a superb job with the full support of his enthusiastic committee.”

WineGB Wessex supports its members on all aspects of the wine industry, including viticulture, winemaking, funding, education, tourism and marketing, and represents its members at the national level within WineGB.

Last month, Black Chalk unveiled plans to release two distinct interpretations of its Classic and Wild Rosé wines, based on the same vintage.