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Pioneers of English Wine Since 1972

Celebrating 50 Years Of Bolney Wine Estate

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Exploring

2022 sees Bolney Wine Estate reach a milestone that we are sincerely proud of – 50 years of winemaking.

Share in our story so far, and read on to explore our incredible calendar of celebratory events and exclusive wines to make this a year to remember for all. From exclusive tours and dining experiences to seasonal menus and limited-edition wines – we look forward to welcoming you to our Sussex Estate and being a part of your celebrations. Cheers to 50 years!

1972: Where the Bolney Wine Estate story began

 

 

Rodney and Janet Pratt were pioneers of their time and all that Bolney is today is testament to their grit and determination to go against the grain to fulfil their vision.  Rodney, a chemical engineer who continued his professional career in the rubber industry alongside his vine growing, describes how he came to discover his passion for winemaking during placement at Gutenberg University, ‘We spent most of our six months in the vineyards of Louis Guntrum. He was the person who showed us all, there was a difference between Niersteiner Domtal, Liebfraumilch and Mateus rosé and real wine.’

 

Back on British soil, Rodney had a vision. “I had this marvellous idea – let’s go and find somewhere to live that’s got a few acres of ground and we can plant a vineyard, and I shall retire at 45.” With Janet’s support, they purchased a run-down smallholding, on the outskirts of the village of Bolney, north-west of Burgess Hill – and over 50 years transformed the Estate into what it is today.

1972

Our story began in 1972 when owners and founders Janet and Rodney Pratt had a vision to start their own vineyard. They purchased the land, which was originally called Bookers Vineyard, and their journey began.

1973

In 1973 the first 1,000 vines were planted across three acres to create what was then only the sixth commercial vineyard in England, these vines were Muller Thurgau variety, which produced a floral white wine. Fast forward to 1977 and we had planted our second vineyard block.

1983

Experimental vines were planted in 1983 to see what would grow here at Bolney, these included Pinot Noir and Chardonnay along with six other varieties.

1985

We won our first ever award for our Bolne 1983 white wine – a coveted Silver medal in the International Wine & Spirit Competition – which was the first wine we produced.

1995

In 1995, Sam Linter, Rodney and Janet’s daughter, joined the business full time taking over the reins and started a growth and quality improvement plan from which we can now see the results.

2002

In 2002 we started to plant our Eighteen Acre Vineyard, which is an excellent site for vines due to its south facing slope, sandstone soils and height of 35 metres above sea level. It is also the backdrop enjoyed today by guests dining at The Eighteen Acre.

2012

In 2012 we won ‘UK Wine Producer of the Year’ as well as Gold for our ‘Blanc de Blancs 2007’ in the International Wine & Spirit Competition.

2015

Our Pinot Gris was the first ever English wine to be served at Wimbledon, the first time in the tournaments 138-year history.

2016

In 2016 we opened the doors to our new Visitor Centre which attracts visitors throughout the year from across the world, and is home to our stunning viewing balcony overlooking the ripening vines.

2019

In 2019, we had the pleasure of welcoming HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to open our state-of-the-art winery, which allowed us to increase our annual production capacity by 170% and to continue to trial new blends with each harvest.

2022

2022 is set to be a very big year for us as we celebrate our 50th anniversary. We are also delighted to share that Bolney Wine Estate was acquired by Freixenet Copestick, uncovering a new chapter for us allowing for growth and development for an exciting future.

Exclusive Events & Limited Release Wines

Founder’s Edition Pinot Noir 2018

From £50.00

An exquisite, fresh, luscious and characterful wine.
With Box
Wine Only

Royal Jubilee Tour

From £70.00

Jubilee celebration tour with picnic.
Buy & book a tour

Founder’s Edition Duo

£155.00

Founder's Edition limited release duo in a stunning presentation box.

Golden Tour Celebrating 50 Years

From £200.00

Golden Tour celebrating 50 years of Bolney Wine Estate.
Buy & book a tour

Founder’s Edition Blanc de Blancs 2018

From £95.00

Captivating apple and pear notes on the nose of this traditional method...
With Box
Wine Only

What's On Guide

From exclusive tours and dining experiences to tranquil lunches and beyond, explore more of our Estate as we celebrate our 50th year of winemaking. DISCOVER

Bolney Wine Through The Ages

Our First Ever Wine

Bolne – 1978

Our very first wine was a classic White English table wine, made from Muller Thurgau Grapes. Our 1983 vintage also won a silver medal in the 16th International Wine Spirits Competition.

SHOP ALL WINES

Our First Red Wine

Regnenses – 1998

In true pioneering spirit, as English Red Wine was not common in the 90s, we launched our first red wine made from Rondo, Dornfelder and Dunkelfelder.

SHOP RED WINE

Our First Sparkling Wine

Millennium – 1999

Our first Traditional Method Sparkling English Wine made from Seyval Blanc was Millennium in 1999, so named for the upcoming turn of the century.

SHOP SPARKLING WINE

Our First Rosé Wine

Bolney Blush – 2007

The success of our white, red and sparkling English wines saw us venture into still Rosé production with our first English Rosé, Bolney Blush, launching in 2007 – made from Dornfelder and Rondo grape varieties.

SHOP ROSÉ WINE

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