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Bolney Wine Estate acquired by major international

Published:  17 January, 2022

Sussex-based Bolney Wine Estate has been sold to sparkling wine behemoth Henkell-Freixenet via Freixenet Copestick in the UK.

Henkell-Freixenet is the world’s largest producer of sparkling wine, owning and distributing brands from Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, and Cremant regions in France.

The sale was made directly by Freixenet Copestick, the merger of two UK based companies, Copestick Murray Wines Limited and Freixenet UK. 

Robin Copestick, MD of Freixenet Copestick, told Harpers: “I am delighted that we have finally managed to acquire an English winery and particularly as that winery is Bolney Wine Estate. Their wines are very good indeed and we were missing an English winery within our portfolio. We see a very bright future for English wines and we will look to strengthen Bolney’s position as one of the very best English wineries.”

The sale is a landmark moment for Henkell-Freixenet as it marks the company’s initial foray into English wine.

Bolney was founded 50 years ago by Janet and Rodney Pratt, the parents of the current MD Sam Linter, who is reportedly remaining in post, despite the sale.

“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’,” said Henkell Freixenet's CEO Andreas Brokemper.

“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.”

As reported in Harpers, exports of English and Welsh wine – both still and sparkling – soared in 2020, with sales rising by by 51% in the period, with Scandinavia now accounting for 63% of all exports.

According to Wine GB, sparkling wine exports climbed by 33% in 2020, while there was a 501% growth in the shipments of still wine, with still wine sales now representing 17% of total exports – a figure that would have been unthinkable 15 years ago.