I Heart Wines owner Freixenet Copestick has snapped up English winery Bolney Estate.
The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will give sparkling wine giant Freixenet a firm footing in the world of English wine, with Bolney boss Samantha Linter staying on to run the business as managing director.
Together the two businesses would “aim to realise the opportunities of English sparkling wine and continue to grow Bolney Wine Estate’s position”, said Freixenet Copestick MD Robin Copestick. “When we first saw Bolney Wine Estate, we were sure we had found the perfect winery. The sparkling wines are excellent and the business is excellently run by Samantha Linter.”
Linter added she was ”very much looking forward to working with Freixenet Copestick and helping to develop Bolney within the group nationally and internationally”.
As an immediate result of the deal, Bolney’s wines have launched into Jascots, the on-trade wholesaler owned by Freixenet, and Slurp, its e-commerce site.
Freixenet Copestick’s international parent company Henkell Freixenet was “convinced that as the global market leader in the sparkling wine market we can further strengthen the image of English sparkling nationally and internationally”.
It comes as sales of English sparkling wine have surged over the past year, with Bolney’s rivals such as Chapel Down and Nyetimber growing in double digits in the supermarkets: the two grew by 98.6% to £9.0m and 60.5% to £6.6m respectively last year [NielsenIQ 52 w/e 11 September 2021].
Freixenet’s eponymous brand is currently the UK’s biggest sparkling wine, with £95m in retail sales over the same period (having added £20m in sales – a 28% increase), while I Heart, with £44.1m sales, is the second biggest – though I Heart’s value fell by 2.8% over the 52-week period, on volumes down 5.7% [NielsenIQ].