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THE BOLNEY PROCESS

Winemaking

Bolney’s story began in 1972 when owners and founders, Janet and Rodney Pratt planted three acres of vines to create what was then only the sixth commercial vineyard in England. Sam Linter, Rodney and Janet’s daughter, took over the reins in the mid-1990s. Under Sam’s leadership, Winemakers Cara Lee Dely & Tom Sutton combine their knowledge and expertise to create award-winning wine.

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The Estate specialises in producing premium red, white, rosé and sparkling English wines that have won numerous awards, and gained lots of fans, all over the world.

 

In 2012, Bolney Wine Estate won UK Wine Producer of the Year in the International Wine and Spirit Competition. Since, we have been presented the accolade of Winery of the Year  2017 at the UK Wine Awards.

 

The estate has continued to invest in specialist machinery including, a 60 hectolitre press, a new disgorging line and 8 new wine tanks delivered in advance of the 2017 harvest and we continue to grow. In 2019 we opened our new state-of-the-art winery at Bolney, which will allow us to triple our production with a capacity to produce 500,000 bottles of wine. This project has allowed the business to continue with our exciting growth plans.  The new winery was part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development via a grant from Coast to Capital and DEFRA, for which we are extremely grateful.

FIRST STAGE

Testing The Grapes

Once the grapes start to ripen, it’s time to start testing. The vineyard team walk the vineyard taking samples to bring to the winery lab, where they are routinely tested for their sugar and acidity levels. The riper they get, the more sugar they have, allowing more alcohol to be produced. We look for the sweet spot, the perfect ratio between sugar and acidity that will tell us when the grapes are ready for picking. And of course, we taste the grapes too!

Image credit: Richard Pohle, The Times.

SECOND STAGE

Harvest

Once the grapes are ready, they must come in quickly. Any delay and the acidity may drop too much and lose that freshness in the finished wine. We carefully press all our grapes, separating the free-run juice and the pressings, which allows us to control the style of wine we make. The juice is then inoculated with a carefully selected yeast strain to bring out the aromas and flavours that best typify each variety, this starts the fermentation process.

THIRD STAGE

Fermentation

Fermentation is where the sugars in the juice are converted into alcohol by the yeast. The colour will slowly start to change and flavours start to develop, producing enticing aromas. Throughout one fermentation a wine goes through many distinctive stages and it can be quite a job keeping on top of them all. We must ensure the temperature is kept just right, and that the yeast has all the nutrients it needs to thrive.

FOURTH STAGE

Blending and Stabilisation

Once the fermentation is complete, we can start the process of blending, where portions of carefully selected tanks are brought together and analysed. We are looking for consistency of style. But also, for the wine to best reveal its year of origin and reflect the vine’s hard work. Once we feel we have found that balance, we blend, stabilise and filter the wine.

FIFTH STAGE

Filtration

Filtration allows us to clarify the wine and achieve that bright, clean wine that we know and love. It is a delicate process. We must ensure all the aromas and flavours we have worked hard to cultivate are retained, whilst also making the wine as clear as possible. To achieve this, we pass the wine through several different filters, each one finer than the last until the wine is stable with wonderful clarity.

FINAL STAGE

Bottling

After all that work, we bottle our new vintages. The wines must be kept in optimal condition right throughout the process. We don’t relax until they are sealed and ready for you to enjoy. And our work is complete. Well, until the next harvest.

Contract Winemaking

We also offer contract winemaking services in full and in part, so whether you are looking for a complete grape-to-glass solution, or just disgorging and labelling services, we can help.

 

For enquiries please e-mail winery@bolneywineestate.com

English Wines

Shop our award-winning wines

From our hero Pinot Noir and our beautiful white wines, to the best English sparkling wines. There is truly something to suit every taste.

ENGLISH WINES
English Wines

Shop our award-winning wines

From our hero Pinot Noir and our beautiful white wines, to the best English sparkling wines. There is truly something to suit every taste.

ENGLISH WINES