Sam Linter steps down from Bolney Wine
Sam Linter has stepped down as chairperson of Bolney Wine Estate, 16 months after its sale to sparkling wine giant Freixenet Copestick in January 2022 last January, in order to pursue new opportunities.
The surprise news come after a successful 16 month transition period, which the English vineyard was integrated into Freixenet Copestick’s wider business.
Freixenet Copestick said it was was attracted to the integrity, quality, and heritage of the Bolney brand, and it had been important for Linter to remain in the business for the year following the sale “to ensure the vision and ethos of Bolney was embedded and retained for the long-term”.
Linter said she felt she had “successfully guided Bolney Wine Estate in becoming part of Freixenet Copestick and the Henkell Freixenet Group” and was excited by their plans for the future of the business, which “closely follow the aspirations I had”.
“However, it is time for me to move on and start my next challenge, knowing I have left Bolney Wine Estate and my family’s legacy in safe hands,” she said.
Bolney’s general manager James Davis, MW, who was appointed in October 2022, will remain in place as the estate goes through a period of expansion including which includes a new hospitality and retail area – due to open in late Summer – that will increase visitor capacity by 120%.
Robin Copestick, managing director of Freixenet Copestick said Linter had built “a great brand and business”, and the company was proud to be taking Bolney forward into its future.
“The business has made great progress in the first 16 months of our ownership, and we are indebted to Sam for her very professional approach to the integration process. I have no doubt that Bolney is on the right trajectory to be one of the very top English wineries,” he said.
In February, the English sparkling wine producer its best ever figures, representing a 16% increase in turnover.
Linter has overseen a huge expansion in the business, which a 10-year growth plan to treble production to a total of 400k bottles by 2020. In January 2019, the Sussex wine estate doubled in size after merging with the 67-acre Pookchurch estate in Cuckfield, Sussex, as part of a plan to ramp up production, with 104 acres planted with Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Bacchus, Pinot Meunuier and Chardonnay.