Last week, I was prepping for a staff training at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, doing a dry run in front of the mirror, as one does. It wasn’t just an excuse for some ‘mirror-time’, I do it because it pays to be polished as these prestigious restaurants have huge sommelier teams, all with varying levels of knowledge.
We have avoided getting involved in the whole Brexit debate as we have various opinions here at Rathfinny, probably echoing the rest of the country, and lately, it’s become quite a polarising issue. Group polarisation, discussed by Daniel Finkelstein in The Times last week, has taken over with each side holding more and more extreme views. However, we run a new and expanding English wine business and, as we move ever closer to the 29th March, I thought that I should share the concerns we have of exiting the EU without a deal. But, before you all start shouting at your screen, let me say that I’m not trying to make a political statement, what I’m trying to explain with this blog are the very real, practical issues that we may face in a no-
An early start on Monday was required to catch the train to the beautiful city of York to present our wines to a fantastic group of restaurants from all points North.
Our gathering was hosted by Yorkshire Vintners, our regional distributor, and Gonzalez Byass(UK), our national distributor, at the fabulous Roots restaurant in the heart of York. Tommy Banks’ (he of Great British Menu fame) food was spectacular and the reception to our wines was very pleasing.
Pruning is all about balance, the delicate balance between fruit load and shoot growth.
In basic terms, we’re training and directing the growth of the vine for the coming season. Pruning allows us to manipulate the potential quantity, and quality of fruit produced. Following a season like the one we’ve just had, this is all the more important.
2018 was quite a year for UK vineyards, often touted as the ‘biggest and best’ yet. In France, they’d call it a Millésime, a proper ‘Vintage’. This is great but the ongoing effects of a season like we’ve just had can have far-reaching consequences.
We asked Chris Bailey, our Tasting Room Head Chef, his ingredient of the month in January…
Why Southdown Lamb? We use the best quality produce we can source from as close to the Estate as possible. This lamb has great flavour and it’s really good to be able to use lamb which is bred on the same ridge of land that Rathfinny sits on, on the South Downs.
Where do you source it from? Saddlescomb Farm
Best cooking tip? Rest the lamb well after cooking before carving.
Favourite dish you use it in? Roast Saddlescomb lamb loin, sweetbreads, barley, turnip and braised lettuce.
What wine would you recommend with the dish?
By the Glass: Sharpham Pinot Noir
By the Bottle: Beronia Gran Reserva
After what seems like years in the making, we are very excited as our new building, Phase 2 now called Bottling, has been filled with brand new shiny equipment.