Summer in the Vineyard

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July is a wonderful month in the vineyard here at Bolney with buzzards circling overhead, and deer and their fawns springing through the vines as the sun beams down. Across our estate, wildflowers are in full bloom, creating an inviting space for insects to thrive.


As life begins to return to normal and our estate is filled with the sounds of glasses clinking, bottles popping and people enjoying themselves, you may notice that our vineyard is a hive of activity. The team have been busy caring for our vines after a frosty start to the year, ensuring that they are ready for our harvest season.

Even with this great variety of weather we have had over the past few months, our grapes are on track to make a fantastic vintage this year, with harvest looking to start later than previous years.


The vines have all now undergone the bud rubbing process which involves the removal of any shoots and buds that grow on the lower parts of our vines. This process makes sure that all the nutrients are sent to the grapes, and it is a vital part of vine growth. Our team have also started thinning out the shoots where they aren’t wanted – an ongoing process across the second half of the season.


The vines are currently being tucked, which is where the canopy wires of the vines are moved so that the shoots that have grown (very tall in some cases!) are controlled within the wires. This allows further work and attempts to keep the vine under control to allow our expert vineyard team to work their magic.


It is a busy time in our winery too, with the team working hard disgorging and labelling all your favourite wines, ready to enjoy on our terrace or at home with friends and family, as well as preparing for the harvest season ahead.

As this year’s harvest season looms, we thought it would be the perfect time to ask our vineyard and winery teams which Bolney tipple they would recommend as the perfect summer serve. Here is what they think:

Mark, our Vineyard Manager, enjoys nothing more than a glass of our Winemaker’s Edition. Whilst red may not be your first thought for the perfect summer wine, this well-balanced, medium-bodied red pairs perfectly with a BBQ. It has black pepper, dark cherry and smoky aromas, with the palate showing earthy notes complemented by blackberry and dark chocolate.

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Our Production and Operations Manager, Cara Lee, loves our Lychgate Rosé on a summer’s day. Its aromas of strawberry, raspberry, red fruit and rose petals, lead to a refreshing palate of red fruits, strawberries and cream, making it a mouthwatering match for a picnic.

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If you’re looking for the perfect classic tipple, why not give our Assistant Winemaker, Tom’s favourite summer drink a try? He recommends mixing our Bolney Estate Gin with a Mediterranean tonic water and citrus garnish for the ultimate sip of summer.

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Stay tuned for our next vineyard update soon – in the meantime cheers to you!