Bolney Wine Estate has officially opened its new state of the art winery.
The new space will see the estate able to increase its production of premium still and sparkling wines by 170 per cent within the next three years.
Built in time for the 2019 harvest it is one part of an expansion plan led by managing director and head wine maker of Bolney Wine Estate, Sam Linter.
She said: “The opening of our new winery is perfectly timed to ensure that we can process more of our grapes than ever before and as efficiently as possible.
“This is especially important following our merger with Pookchurch vineyard in January which saw us form a 104-acre Estate, which will see us produce 300 tonnes of grapes annually.
“The physical expansion, paired with the hard-work, passion from the team and the building of strong partnerships is key to the future-proofing of our estate - ensuring that we can continue to produce and refine our award-winning still and sparkling wines for many years to come.”
The extension will help the Sussex-based estate to meet its target of producing more than 300,000 bottles of premium still and sparkling wines by 2022.
The new state of the art winery harnesses new technologies and equipment to effectively increase its production of still and sparkling wines. It is also equipped with an additional new wine press to improve the effectiveness and speed at which it processes its grapes.
Partly financed by a grant from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the new winery has the potential to produce 500,000 bottles of wine.
In a move to further strengthen its sustainable practices, the estate has also installed solar panels on its new winery and across its main building, cafe and office - helping to reduce its reliance on the national grid by 30 per cent.
This sustainable element has also seen it recently launch a vermouth using the surplus grape juice from the estate.
The fortified wine was created by Sam and production manager Alex Rabagliati.
It uses botanicals of the Downs including sloes and elderberries found within the vineyards hedgerows.
Usually the masses of sloes and elderberries go to waste each year so Sam and Alex paired these with the grape juice while ensuring that nothing is wasted in the wine making process.
Sam felt Bolney should branch out by creating an exciting new drink, but one still closely connected to Bolney’s wine making traditions. Together Alex and Sam they devised this English Vermouth.
Vermouth continues to rise in popularity and this is the first red vermouth in Sussex.
Bolney Wine Estate is a third generation family business founded by Sam’s parents in 1972.
Rodney and Janet Pratt, wanted to do something with the land and started with just three acres of vines and a single grape variety.
It has since grown to 104 acres and nine varieties of grapes.
Bolney Wine Estate make some of the finest English wines in the world: red, white and rosé, still and sparkling, all grown and hand-crafted at their Sussex vineyard.
For more information visit www.bolneywineestate.com