Freixenet Copestick has strengthened its position as the leading sparkling wine supplier in England with the acquisition of the renowned English sparkling wine producer, Bolney Wine Estate which took place last Friday, 14 January.

This acquisition means that Henkell Freixenet is now entering the high-quality English Sparkling Wine business with the renowned Bolney Wine Estate. This emerging category is regarded by some experts as “comparable to Champagne”* and in the last few years English Sparkling Wine has been experiencing exponential growth.

Bolney Wine Estate is considered one of the pioneers among the estates in England. The winery, located near Brighton, was founded in 1972 by Janet and Rodney Pratt and is now run by their daughter Samantha Linter. Sam, and her team, have led Bolney to become synonymous with quality wine in a contemporary style, producing a wide-ranging portfolio of still and sparkling English white, rosé and red wines, as well adding Bolney Estate Gin and Rosso Vermouth to the collection. The Estate has consistently won international awards, most recent awards include a Gold medal for its Estate Chardonnay 2020, Trophy and Gold medal in the Glass of Bubbly awards for its Cuvée Rosé 2018 and Gold medal in the TEXSOM awards with its Blanc de Blancs 2015.

The Bolney wines are sold all over the UK in premium bars, shops, restaurants, hotels and eCommerce sites. Additionally the wines are exported to the US, China, Scandinavia, Japan, Singapore and Northern Europe. Entering its 50th year Bolney’s aim is to continue to be an educator and pioneer of English wine.

Freixenet Copestick is the UK and Ireland arm of Henkell Freixenet. Brands such as Henkell, Freixenet, Mionetto Prosecco, Alfred Gratien, Segura Viudas, Freixenet Mederaño, i heart WINES, Mangaroca Batida de Côco and Wodka Gorbatschow belong to the group.

Robin Copestick, managing director of Freixenet Copestick, commented: “When we first saw Bolney Wine Estate, we were sure we had found the perfect winery. The sparkling wines are excellent, and the business is excellently run by Samantha Linter. She will work closely with the Henkell Freixenet and Freixenet Copestick teams as managing director. Together we aim to realise the opportunities of English Sparkling Wine and continue to grow Bolney Wine Estate’s position.”

Sam Linter added: “This is a new chapter for Bolney Wine Estate. Over the past 50 years my family and I have worked hard to bring Bolney to where it is today. I am now very much looking forward to working with Freixenet Copestick and helping to develop Bolney within the group nationally and internationally.”

Dr Andreas Brokemper, CEO of Henkell Freixenet, says: “As producers of Champagne, Crémant, Cava, Prosecco and sparkling wines of various origins, we are delighted to add English Sparkling Wine, a still young, prestigious sparkling wine speciality to our “Pearls of Europe”. We are convinced that as the global market leader in the sparkling wine market, we can further strengthen the image of English Sparkling nationally and internationally,”

The wines of Bolney Wine Estate will become immediately available from the Freixenet Copestick sales team as well as Jascots, the London On Trade wholesaler, and via the Slurp eCommerce website.

Commenting on this landmark news in the UK wine industry, WineGB CEO, Simon Thorpe MW said: “This represents a key milestone for the wine industry here in the UK. In many ways it signals an increasing maturity in our industry in that English still and sparkling wine should be regarded as an attractive investment opportunity by such a leading global wine producer. The acquisition should help to build on the progress made by English and Welsh wineries in establishing a significant consumer franchise both in this country and in certain export markets. This is an exciting development for the industry.”

*Louise Dixon & The Associated Press, 28th December 2021