Bolney Wine Estate welcomed the Duchess of Cornwall to its state-of-the-art winery today (Thursday, October 17).
Her Royal Highness was met by Sam Linter, managing director and head wine maker.
The new winery 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.
Sam said the opening of the new winery has been strategically timed with the autumn harvest and also closely follows the Estate’s merger with neighbouring vineyard, Pookchurch earlier this year.
“We are honoured that Her Royal Highness was able to join us to mark this occasion and officially open the new winery. The new winery, which was partly financed by a grant from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, represents a significant investment for us, and a crucial part of our drive to produce the best premium still and sparkling wines in the UK.”
Her Royal Highness was given a tour of the new facility and sampled the estate’s wines. She was then able to view the vineyard from the cafe balcony before enjoying a reception attended by staff, local food producers and other guests including representatives from Wine GB.
The Duchess had been president of Wine GB since 2011.
Wines of Great Britain (WineGB) is the new national organisation for grape growers and winemakers, its aim is to promote, represent and support the interests of all sizes of vineyards and wine producers in England and Wales and provide a wide range of services and benefits for its members.
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, it has also recently added a vermouth to its production line.