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Keen market gardeners with a lust for the 'good life', Rodney and Janet Pratt planted the first vines at Bolney, West Sussex in 1972.Bolney Estate
Rodney, who was a natural rubber trader in the City, made the decision to buy some land and a house within commuting distance of London and the couple set to work
It was when visiting Germany on a university trip (studying Chemistry and Engineering) that Rodney first developed a passion for wine.
Whilst there, he had found time between lectures to explore the local vineyards, developing a keen thirst along the way!
The original intention was that by the time Rodney turned 45 he would retire and focus on running the vineyard. Yet, life had other plans.
As it happened, it was Janet who picked up the bulk of the vineyard work while Rodney continues to trade natural rubber from his office on the site.
In the 1990s, Samantha Linter (Rodney and Janet's daughter) took over the running of the business and the winemaking. Sam and her brother Mark grew up on the vineyard at Bolney.
Originally qualified to become a hairdressing trainer, Sam decided that the profession was not for her. She always had a passion for good food and wine, so when she started wine studies at Plumpton College, Sam felt right at home.
It was a very busy time for her, working whilst studying, and also looking after two small children!
Sam has managed to make the wines of Bolney Estate a real success over the years, winning numerous awards and improving her technique year-on-year.
Sam's ethos as a winemaker is to produce the best quality wines possible, to work with the best grapes and to enhance what they offer naturally in terms character and flavour. She is a believer that local is best!
Bolney Wine Estate is extremely proud of the female influence behind its success and is looking forward to a bright future!