Sam Linter Managing Director and Wine Maker of Bolney Wine Estate
Sam’s parents, Janet and Rodney Pratt, founded the vineyard in 1972, at which time Bolney Wine Estate was one of the first commercial vineyards in England. Sam spent her childhood living on the vineyard and joined the family business in 1995 at the age of 27.
In 2001, Sam achieved her WSET Diploma at Plumpton College, the UK’s only Wine College, whilst running the Estate and looking after her two small children. Sam’s daughter Charlotte, inspired by her mother’s passion has followed in her footsteps and works at the vineyard in the Tours Department. Sam’s husband, Graham, works as IT Manager for the company.
Sam had a dream to plant premium varieties to make English stills, notably Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. She especially focused on creating an English red back in the late 90s when everyone said it couldn’t be done! Sam was convinced she could, and her passion for creating exciting and complex still English wines is what has given Bolney its unique and expansive range - and allowed the Estate to stand out in the industry. Sam's ethos is to produce the best quality wines possible by working with the best grapes, enhancing what they have to offer both in character and flavour.
Under Sam’s leadership, the estate won its first major award in 2012, when Bolney Wine Estate was presented with the title of ‘UK Wine Producer of the Year’ in the International Wine and Spirit Competition. Then, in 2017, we were awarded the accolade of ‘Winery of the Year’ at the UK Wine Awards, plus a Gold medal for our Cellar Door in the International Wine Challenge. We have also won many Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for our wines, both in the UK and internationally. This includes prestigious Gold medals for our Pinot Gris, Bacchus, Blanc de Blancs, Cuvée Rosé and Eighteen Acre Rosé.
Along with successfully running Bolney Wine Estate, Sam has also been an integral influence in the success of the English wine industry.
From the 1990s, Sam has been involved with the South East Vineyard Association (SEVA), one of the country’s biggest wine associations, from secretary to chair. The chairmanship of SEVA gave her a seat on the United Kingdom Vineyard Association council (UKVA), where she was able to play a predominate part in shaping the English Wine Industry. She later stepped down as chairman to have more time to focus on Bolney, but now is a Director at Wine GB and chair for Export for Wine GB.
For more on Sam and Bolney click here.