Not UK wine, not English wine but Sussex wine – that’s the uniquely specific subject of the latest book to focus on a fine modern product that now puts Britain firmly among the world’s serious wine nations. Sussex by the Glass: Wines, vines and two pioneering families, by Circle member Liz Sagues, will be published on March 8.
The choice of International Women’s Day for the launch is deliberate. The book focuses on two pioneering families, major inspirations in the development of quality English wine – and the heads of both those second-generation family businesses are women.
From lengthy interviews with Sam Linter, managing director and head winemaker of Bolney Wine Estate, and Tamara Roberts, CEO of Ridgeview Wine Estate, and those who work alongside them, Liz has distilled their family stories and the broader one of wine in Sussex – and beyond. It’s a celebratory moment for the book to appear: Bolney will be 50 years old in 2022, Ridgeview toasted its 25th birthday last year.
They have been pioneers in their respective specialties, still wine and sparkling, and remain leaders in their industry. Sussex is important in the story of English wine for more besides. It produces more wine than any other English county. It is the home of Nyetimber, which made the world notice English bottle-fermented sparkling wine, and of the world-renowned Plumpton College Wine Division. And it is the first English wine region in line for PDO status.
The paperback, 96 pages with more than 100 colour illustrations, is self-published (Tanwood Press, £12). Contact [email protected] for more information.