Bolney Wine set to increase capacity
Bolney Wine Estate in Sussex is gearing up to start work on its new winery, which will allow it to ramp up its annual production to 300,000 bottles by 2020.
In June the producer’s head winemaker and MD, Sam Linter, told OLN it is tripling its capacity as part of a £2m investment in its facilities, in order to meet increasing demand for its wines.
Linter said: “Our new winery will enable us to produce 100,000 bottles per year for contract customers and 300,000 bottles of our own wine.
“Last year we produced 120,000 bottles and this year it will be 160,000; we will be aiming for 300,000 by 2020 and further growth after that. It’s ambitious but we could be even more ambitious.
“We have had 30% growth each year for the past three years, and we foresee growth increasing slightly as we get near to 2020 as English wine gains further recognition. We know the market is growing and expanding and we are selling more than we make; some wines we run out of before the next vintage is ready and it was becoming quite problematic."
The wine producer also recently opened its new visitor centre and café, which has been well received by visitors, according to Linter.
“We had a small cafe before, which we set up about four years ago, but it wasn’t near the actual vineyard so we always had an idea to move it when we were able to. We are seeing increasing numbers of people wanting to come to see us, and we were literally running out of space for our tour facility. We get about 4,000 to 6,000 people here on tours but we were finding there was much more demand which we were unable to cater for; we needed to grow because the demand was there.”
Bolney was the first English wine to be served at Wimbledon and the only one currently offered to British Airways first class passengers. It has also recently secured a listing with Bill’s café and restaurant chain for its wines, in both an on and off-trade capacity, and it has plans to ramp up its export market.
“We don’t want to be dependant on one market; and therefore we think exports are important.”
Meanwhile, Bolney has revealed its Christmas line-up, which includes a selection of wine-based hampers.
This Christmas the producer will offer its customers The Festive Hamper (rrp £65), which includes a bottle of Lychgate red, a bottle of Bacchus, a corkscrew, charcoal biscuits, Brighton blue cheese, pheasant liver pate and cranberry sauce with port.
It also has The Chocolate and Fizz Hamper (rrp £55), along with gift boxes containing still and sparkling wines, which can be tailored to individual needs. Another gift option is its The Bolney Grand Gourmet Tour & Tasting Voucher (rrp £42.50pp).