About the producer: Bolney Estate
Bolney Estate is a family run vineyard that began with only three acres under vine in 1972. It enjoyed a renaissance in the 1990’s when Samantha Linter, daughter of founders Janet and Rodney Pratt, took over the wine making. Samantha, who gave up teaching hairdressing to study viticulture, has built up the estate to 39 acres and now heads an all female team which includes her own daughter, Charlotte. They have been awarded ‘UK Wine Producer of the Year’ by the ‘International Wine and Spirit Competition 2012’, a crowning achievement following forty years of dedication and growth. View our range.
Toasting Success: Bolney Estate and the rise of English Sparkling Wine
English wine is booming again after a period in the doldrums. The turn-around came after the hot summer of 2003 led to a spurt of sparkling-variety planting and the conviction that Southern England might just be the new Champagne.
Bolney started in back 1972 with three acres of vines planted on the South Downs near Brighton and have since grown to 39 acres – substantial in English wine terms. Winemaker Samantha Lintner specialises in producing red and sparkling wines from grapes grown on the delightfully named local soil type, ‘Upper Tunbridge Wells Sand’. The winery benefited from some investment and grants in 2005 which funded a new, state of the art winery and in 2012 was voted ‘IWSC UK Winery of the Year’.
Bolney’s winemaking success has developed hand in hand with their commitment to sustainable vineyard practices and to involvement in their community – supporting local projects and charities. The estate is even home to the local community post office which they opened when the village post office was forced to close.
As for the results?
The Lychgate white, red and rose are as accomplished and rounded examples of English winemaking as one could hope to find, with clean aromatics and flavours in the white and balanced, vibrant fresh fruit flavours in the rose and red. The true potential of the estate is displayed in the sparkling wines, with a full autolytic style showing real complexity and development.