Wednesday 20 July 2016 7:41 pm

Home counties sparkling wine producer Gusbourne launches booze bond, backed by majority shareholder Lord Ashcroft

English sparkling wine maker Gusbourne has launched a bond issue to raise up to £10m to put towards its home counties vineyards.

Gusbourne placed up to £10m of five-year secured deeply discounted bonds yesterday, which can be converted into shares at a later date.

Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft, who owns nearly two-thirds of the company, will take up at least the same proportion of the bonds.

Read more: Drink up: Brexit could threaten the UK wine industry's export markets

Gusbourne has said it will put the funds towards capital expenditure on new vineyards planted between 2013 and 2015 in Kent and Sussex, additional plant and equipment for its vineyards and winery, and working capital to increase its sparkling wine stocks.

“The company’s long-term strategy includes the further expansion of production and sales of its international award winning English sparkling wine products,” Gusbourne said in a statement.

Read more: This is why English and Welsh wine production dipped in 2015

“The production of premium sparkling wine from new vineyards is by its very nature a long-term project and requires funding to support the investment in new vineyards, additional winery capacity and wine stocks.”

Gusbourne was named English Wine Producer of the Year at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in December. It debuted its first vintages in 2010.

The English wine industry gained more fizz last year, when 37 new wine producers and vineyards opened. A total of 170 new producers have entered the domestic industry over the past five years, according to accountancy group UHY Hacker Young.

English wine, which is grown and made in England, is distinct from British wine, which uses imported grapes.