Bolney brings it home

Tucked away down a leafy Sussex lane with the almost Disney-like name of Foxhole Lane is a modern success story with a sparkling twist. The Blanc de Blancs 2007 produced by Sam Linter, second generation winemistress at Bolney Wine Estate has beaten off allcomers to win a Gold Outstanding at the 2012 International Wine & Spirit Competition – just 13 out of 3000 wines from 90 countries scored this top accolade.

Sam Linter at Bolney

“We are thrilled by the result,” said a delighted Sam. “It couldn’t have come at a better time – the country is celebrating and now so are we.” 

Available online via the winery and a few other stockists – see below – the judges described the wine as ‘lavish’, like ‘pure white mousse’, ‘dense, clinging and zesty’.

2012 is proving a busy year for Sam, who within the last month also became one of Naked Wine’s chosen Zero to Hero winners, scooping a £50,000 order for its Sparkling Cuvée Rosé 2009.

Back on the farm…

Amid all the picking up of plaudits, Sam is working round the clock to put the finishing touches to Bolney’s new Vineyard Café. Due to open in English Wine Week, the menu shows a decidedly local emphasis, with chef Dan's homemade offerings, apple juice coming from the orchard across the road, meats from Mill Farm in Haywards Heath and olive oil being swapped for Sussex rapeseed oil. “We’re even putting food miles on the menus,” said an enthused Sam.

Couple that with Bolney's new Drop In Tours introduced this year, and we sense that Foxhole Lane might be getting a bit more traffic this year.

To find out more about visiting Bolney Wine Estate, visit its main entry on

Other top drops

Nyetimber’s Blanc de Blancs 2003 was the other Gold medal winner in the IWSC, which saw 33 medals awarded to English wines and 2 to Welsh wines, including 4 Silver Outstanding medals to Gusbourne, Furleigh, Denbies and Chapel Down. We will report back later on the IWC and DWWA triumphs.

£25.99 inc delivery via the winery; also available from some of these regular outlets: Grays & Feather, Grapes of Worthing, Davy’s Wine Merchants, The Purple Grape, Sparkling English Wine, Quaff