English wine heads into the red

Sam Linter at Bolney Wine EstateDrinkBritain.com’s latest Producer of the Week, Bolney Wine Estate, is one of the few in the UK to specialise in red wine – and with some success. With over half the estate planted with red varietals, head winemaker Samantha Linter says they spotted a gap in the market for a lighter red.

“There’s a demand for  less alcoholic fruitier reds that is not being met hugely by other countries,” she says. We’ve worked really hard on making a red to match the UK palate and it’s paying off.”

As an indication of its success, Bolney's Pinot Noir beat off a couple of Burgundies when tasted blind last May on BBC’s The One Show.

Sam swapped a pair of scissors for a pair of secateurs when she decided to leave hairdressing and join the vineyard set up by her parents, Janet and Rodney Pratt, in the early 1970s. Following her studies at Plumpton College, the UK's leading practical wine education centre, and over ten years on from taking over the winemaking baton, Sam has carved out a strong reputation for herself.

Sam will be hosting the second Best of English – Meet the Winemaker tasting dinner being run by DrinkBritain and top wine bistro Artisan & Vine on 23 March. Although tickets for this are now sold out, this year’s English Wine Week offers a number of chances to find out for yourself what distinguishes Sam’s creations from the rest.

English Wine Week runs from Saturday 28 May to Sunday 5 June. Bank Holiday Monday, 30 May sees wine tours being run at Bolney every hour, 10am-3pm (£5 per couple, no pre-booking needed). For a more in-depth experience, consider booking onto Sam’s new Come Vine with Me tour on Saturday 4 June. (£95 for two, this includes a guided tour of the vineyard, a tutored tasting plus a food & wine matching masterclass).

And if you are in Sussex, Bolney’s wine envoy, Alan, will be out and about during English Wine Week. Check out if he’s near you on the winery's website.


Best of English - Meet the Winemaker

Best of English dinnerFor your chance to join the key people behind England's leading wineries, to taste their wines alongside food specially matched by Artisan & Vine's resident chef, James, book your tickets for one of the following evenings at Artisan & Vine in Battersea.

20 April: Frazer Thompson, CEO, Chapel Down Wine Estate, Kent
25 May: Julian Barnes, winemaker, Biddenden Vineyards, Kent
22 June: Sam Lindo, winemaker, Camel Valley Vineyards, Cornwall
20 July: Paul Langham, winemaker, a’Becketts Vineyards, Wiltshire
24 August: Charlie Holland, assistant winemaker, RidgeView Estate, Sussex

Spaces are limited to 35. Tickets available from Artisan & Vine

We look forward to seeing you there!