Tuesday 3 January 2017 4:25 pm

Wine wars: Chapel Down beats Champagne Bollinger to become new official Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race partner

Corks will be popping at Chapel Down today, after the crowdfunding English winemakers signed a four-year agreement to become an official partner to the Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race.

Chapel Down has usurped rival Champagne Bollinger to become the new wine partner of the annual race.

This means that, for the first time, it will be bottles of English-grown bubbly enjoyed by the victorious crew at the Mortlake finish line of the next men's and women's boat races on 2 April. 

Read more: Chapel Down toasts to future profits with its most successful harvest yet

Chapel Down's chief executive Frazer Thompson was quick to draw parallels between the rise of English wine and its rivalry with traditional French bubblies. 

We are thrilled to be partnering the Boat Race, an iconic moment in the British sporting calendar. This great rivalry inspires mutual respect but an iron will to outperform. This is a sentiment that I relate to as we compete with sparkling wines from ‘the other place’.

Read more: English winemaker Chapel Down uncorks growth in its beer and cider business

The Kent-based wine company is already an official wine partner to 10 Downing Street and branched out to the US with partnership agreements last year.