The 23rd Annual Nantucket Wine & Food Festival: May 15-19, 2019

Frazer Thompson

CEO

Chapel Down
Tenterden, England

Originally from Newcastle, after graduating in 1981 it seemed entirely appropriate that Frazer was drawn to beer. By the age of 29, he was made a director of Whitbread plc having led the team behind the success of Boddingtons in the early 90s with its famous advertising and draught-flow widget.

 

He accepted the challenge of Managing Director of Chapel Down in November 2001. Since then he has been one of the driving forces that has raised the profile of English wine to such an extent that demand now vastly exceeds supply (a complete reversal of fortune). He has made the largest English wine company profitable, developed a well-respected and valuable premium brand and has successfully secured five rounds of fund-raising and created a Board and team second to none.

 

Chapel Down wines have now won many International awards, including an extraordinary three Gold Medals (of 229 awarded in the world) at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2013 including Regional Trophy for Best English Sparkling Wine and one for a still Chardonnay. Yes. A Chardonnay from England! In 2011 he launched a beer using winemaking techniques – Curious Brew, which promptly won a Gold Medal at the International Brewing Awards and Trophy for Best lager beer under 5% abv in 2012.

 

Frazer was Chairman of the Institute of Directors in Kent from 2007-9 and was Plus Market (now ISDX) Investors’ CEO of the Year in 2008 and is a Kent Ambassador. He lives at Sissinghurst Castle Farmhouse, which his wife Sue runs as a 7-bed luxury B&B. They have three sons, Patrick, Will and George.