BOLNEY Wine Estate has made the first ever Sussex Rosso Vermouth.

The fortified wine, which has a distinctive flavour profile derived from sloes and elderberries growing in the estate’s hedgerows, was launched at the London Wine Fair.

The award-winning 39-acre Bolney Wine Estate at Bolney, near Haywards Heath, which specialises in producing premium red, white, rose and sparkling English wines and was named Winery of the Year 2017 at the UK Wine and Spirit Competition, was the first English wine estate to create red wine commercially and wanted to use its experience to create a quality Rosso.

Its head winemaker Sam Linter, daughter of the estate’s founders Janet and Rodney and who has more than 20 years of successfully making English wines, accepted the challenge and joined forces with fellow winemaker Alex Rabagliati, who led the trials of numerous flavour blends, to devise the new English Vermouth.

“I fancied turning my hand to creating a new drink, but one still closely connected to Bolney’s wine making traditions,” says Sam.

Sam and Alex use Bolney’s masses of sloes and elderberries, which usually go to waste each year, and they have also been able to use some of Bolney’s surplus grape juice for the Vermouth, ensuring that nothing is wasted in the wine-making process.

The resulting taste is described as “rich, delicious hedgerow fruits with floral herb, eucalyptus notes and the classic aroma of wormwood”.

With the classic Italian cocktail the Negroni back in fashion for 2018, Bolney has created three serve suggestions in collaboration with Fever-Tree, the company that launched its Indian Tonic Water in 2005 and now produces 14 different drinks.

Serve Suggestions

  • Fever-Tree Elderflower tonic water with lemon thyme and a wheel of orange.
  • Fever-Tree Indian tonic water with rosemary/lavender.
  • Fever-Tree Aromatic tonic water with an orange wheel.

(Serving to be presented in a bowl stemmed glass, full of ice, 50ml of Vermouth, ¾ tonic and garnish)

To order Bolney’s Rosso Vermouth, visit bolneywineestate.com.