Located on a hill in the heart of rural Sussex, on the outskirts of the village of Bolney around 14 miles north of Brighton, Bolney Wine Estate has been run by husband-and-wife team Rodney and Jane Pratt since 1972. Initially called Bookers Vineyard, the estate began with just three acres of vines, which Rodney and Jane used to produce white wines. They have since expanded the vineyards to 39 acres, and are now better known as specialist red wine producers, although they still produce white and sparkling wines too.
The south-facing vineyards surround the winery and are planted on sandstone soils typical of the area. Jane and Rodney grow many of the grape varieties most associated with English wine production, such as bacchus, rondo, reichensteiner, schonburger and pinot noir, as well as the slightly rarer pinot gris.
The grapes are hand harvested around October, before being transported to the state-of-the-art winery, which was renovated in 2005. Since the 1990s the winemaker here has been Rodney and Jane's daughter, Sam Linter, and she is assisted by Liz Garrett, who trained at Plumpton College and gained experience at Cloudy Bay in New Zealand.
The sparkling wines are produced using the Champagne method, before ageing for two to three years on their lees, and the estate's still wine is produced taking inspiration from premium New Zealand wine production.
Bolney estate was awarded UK Producer of the Year at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in 2012.