For Bolney Wine Estate, it is its dedication to the ethos ‘Guided by nature since 1972’, that has helped this winery rise to become known as the pioneers of English wine, producing award winning still and sparkling wines – from its famous Pinot Noir and Estate Bacchus to its classic English sparkling wines, the Bolney Bubbly and Blanc de Blancs.
Located in the heart of rural Sussex, this winery had its first three acres of vines planted by the current winemaker Sam Linter’s parents, Rodney and Janet. By 1985, Bolney had won its first award: a silver medal in the International Wine and Spirit Competition for its Bolney 1983 white wine. The winery would later go on to win UK Wine Producer of the Year in the same competition in 2012. In 1995, Sam joined her parents’ team, and the first proper winery was built in 2005. In 2019, Bolney Estate opened its new state-of-the-art winery. This, coupled with the use of specialist machinery, will allow the winery to triple its production, with a capacity to produce around 500,000 bottles of wine!
The team works tirelessly to ensure the good quality of their grapes by providing extensive canopy management throughout the season, to ensure the ideal climate. The predominantly Upper Tunbridge Wells Sand in the region, which allows for good heat retention and proper drainage, makes for perfect soil conditions for the vineyards.
Sustainability is at the heart of the winery’s operations, and they employ various methods in a bid to become eco-friendly. This includes the use of a biofilter to safely treat and recycle water used in spraying, as well as the practice of responsible waste management. Not only this, but the use of solar panels on the winery’s buildings, generates around 50% of the electricity used across the site, as well as enough to run the winery’s disgorging and labelling lines. Any leftover electricity generated, that the winery doesn’t use, is donated to the National Grid. The estate also strives to be sustainable in its packaging – its bottles are 100% recyclable, with the use of recycled paper for labels.