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English Wine producer loses £80,000 worth of wine in raid

Published:  27 February, 2015

An English wine producer has had over 5,000 bottles of English wine stolen from its bonded warehouse in Sussex.

Bolney Wine Estates near Haywards Heath said wines worth more than £80,000 had been taken in a raid last night.

A spokesman told the operation appeared to have been carefully planned and the thieves had been very selective with what they took.

"There were nine pallets of wine taken, so it would not have been easy to move quickly, and they must have had a lot of people and very large lorry to remove it," she said.

The majority were sparkling wines and included the last of the four-times award winning Bolney Estate Blanc de Blanc 2009, as well as pallets of Cuvée Rosé and Bolney Bubbly. Four still wines were also included in the haul, including the Sirrius Rosé, Lychgate White, and Linters Red.

Picking of Pinot Gris under way at Bolney Estate in West Sussex.

The wines were destined for a range of supermarkets including Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and other local independent merchants.

Demand for English wines has soared in recent years, with sparkling wines making up around 66% of the production. Sales have nearly reached £100m.

Julia Trustram-Eve, marketing director at English Wine Producers said the raid, though devasting for Bolney, appears to have been an isolated incident. However, she urged other wine producers to be vigilant and ensure security measures are in place. "We also want to appeal to the wine trade to be especially vigilant in case they are approached to purchase this wine," she said.