Rathfinny Wine Estate

It’s blending season!

The quality of last year’s harvest was fantastic: A perfect balance of flavours, sugar levels and acidity. The wines were a bit “difficult” to work with, for example, the malolactic fermentation has taken longer than usual. However, at last it has now been completed through all the lots, and whilst we get the wines ready for bottling by fining and stabilising the wines, we have also started to work on the blends.  It’s a very exciting moment in the year of a winemaker.

Read Jonathan's Article

Back to school

As the opening image illustrates, winter is slowly moving into spring.  The vines have finished their work for the time being and now receive their annual hair cut and my Estate vehicle requires the adornment of the obligatory bobble hat.

Read Richard's Article

12th & 13th May Chris Bailey Pop Up at Rathfinny Wine Estate £55

Join us, on what will hopefully be a lovely summers evening, for our first Pop Up restaurant of the summer with chef Chris Bailey. Taking place in the Tasting Room situated in the heart of the Estate with stunning views of the Vineyard and the South Downs.

Chris has worked in some of the top restaurants in London and Spain after training at Westminster college which culminated in being awarded a Michelin Star at The Black Rat in Winchester. Since leaving restaurants, Chris has been concentrating on catering for gourmet private and corporate events including high end private dinners and pop up dinners in exclusive and interesting locations.

Chris’s food is based around an obsession with great local produce while showcasing classic and modern approaches within his food. Time spent in some of the worlds best restaurants and living abroad obviously influence his dishes though bold flavours and seasonality are always to the fore. Inspired by all things seasonal and local to Sussex, Chef Chris Bailey has created a 5 course tasting menu, paired with wines, to showcase his innovative cooking skills.

The evening will commence at 7.30pm when you will be welcomed with a glass of English sparkling wine. You will then be guided through a five-course tasting menu each course with a wine pairing (should you choose to purchase a wine flight with your food ticket).

Location. The Tasting Room, Rathfinny Wine Estate, Alfriston, BN26 5TU

Book Tickets OnlineOr Call +44 (0)1323 870 022

9th & 10th June Smoke & Salt Pop Up at Rathfinny Wine Estate £55

Join us, on what will hopefully be a lovely summers evening, for our second Pop Up restaurant of the summer with cooking duo Smoke & Salt. Taking place in the Tasting Room situated in the heart of the Estate with stunning views of the Vineyard and the South Downs.

Smoke & Salt was formed in May 2014 by two aspiring chefs with a view to making their mark on the modern dining scene. Originally a monthly supperclub, Smoke & Salt has evolved into a dining concept combining great modern cookery built on utilising ancient food preservation techniques. The core team comprises of Aaron Webster (ex-Dinner by Heston, London, UK) & Remi Williams (ex- Deuxave, Boston, MA). They met while both cooking and running The Shed Restaurant in Notting Hill in 2014. Together they have 12 years cooking experience at the highest levels of fine-dining.

The evening will commence at 7.30pm when you will be welcomed with a glass of English sparkling wine. You will then be guided through a five-course tasting menu each course with a wine pairing (should you choose to purchase a wine flight with your food ticket).

Location. The Tasting Room, Rathfinny Wine Estate, Alfriston, BN26 5TU

Book Tickets OnlineOr Call +44 (0)1323 870 022

14th & 15th July Martin Carabott Pop Up at Rathfinny Wine Estate £55

Join us, on what will hopefully be a lovely summers evening, for our July Pop Up restaurant with chef Martin Carabott. Taking place in the Tasting Room situated in the heart of the Estate with stunning views of the Vineyard and the South Downs.

Martin, 27, started cooking professionally at the age of 16, having studied at the Institute of Tourism Studies in Malta, his home country. During this time, he was picked to join the National Culinary team to represent Malta in International competitions. He also spent a year’s internship at the Gleneagles hotel in Scotland, where he returned after graduating.

At Gleneagles, he completed stages in the two Michelin starred restaurant Andrew Fairlie. He also competed in and was successful in various national culinary events before moving to London to work at the Lanesborough hotel’s Michelin starred Apsley’s restaurant, then run by Heinz Beck, holder of three Michelin stars at his La Pergola restaurant in Rome.

Leaving Apsley’s, he then joined The Royal Automobile Club to work in the fine dining restaurant with Executive Chef Philip Corrick. At the club, Martin worked his way up to Senior Sous Chef and participated in prestigious events such as The Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year, placing third in the final in 2015, winning the CSMA of Great Britain Award for Culinary Excellence and achieving the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Award of Excellence in 2014, which led to him staging at the two Michelin starred Le Manoir aux Quat Saison in Oxfordshire.

In 2016, Martin competed in three of the biggest culinary competitions in the UK, The Roux Scholarship, the National Chef of the Year, making it to the final in both, and the British Culinary Federation Chef of the Year which he won.

He currently works with Isaac McHale, chef at the one Michelin starred The Clove Club in Shoreditch, (no.26 on the World’s 50 best restaurants list) at his new restaurant Luca, opened November 2016 which is modern British/Italian cuisine.

The evening will commence at 7.30pm when you will be welcomed with a glass of English sparkling wine. You will then be guided through a five-course tasting menu each course with a wine pairing (should you choose to purchase a wine flight with your food ticket).

Location. The Tasting Room, Rathfinny Wine Estate, Alfriston, BN26 5TU

Book Tickets OnlineOr Call +44 (0)1323 870 022

11th & 12th August Ruth Hansom Pop Up at Rathfinny Wine Estate £55

Join us, on what will hopefully be a lovely summers evening, for our August Pop Up Restaurant with chef Ruth Hansom. Taking place in the Tasting Room situated in the heart of the Estate with stunning views of the Vineyard and the South Downs.

Ruth first started cooking whilst at school. She entered Springboards Future Chef competition for under 16s and came 2nd in the national final. Consequently, she was offered a place at Westminster College and so finished her GCSE’s and bravely moved to London. When she first moved to London, she was offered a job by Frederick Forster, then of the Boundary.

Earlier this year Ruth completed the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts apprenticeship with a distinction while working at The Ritz. During this time, Ruth has impressively competed in other competitions including, Master Chefs of Great Britain Young Chef of the Year (1st place in 2013 and 2014). Craft Guild of Chefs National Young Chef of the Year (2nd in 2013). Craft Guild Graduate Awards (received), World Skills UK (gold in 2012 and team UK). European Championships Worldskills (bronze). Craft Guild of Chefs Young Chef of the year (1st in 2016/17). She also received the Apprenctice Chef Award at Craft Guild of Chefs Awards in 2013 and Craft Guild Rising Star in 2014.

Above all else, Ruth loves to raise money for Springboard, a charity that massively helped her at the beginning of her career and continue to support her.

Ruth is truly a rising star and one to watch!

The evening will commence at 7.30pm when you will be welcomed with a glass of English sparkling wine. You will then be guided through a five-course tasting menu each course with a wine pairing (should you choose to purchase a wine flight with your food ticket).

Location. The Tasting Room, Winery, Rathfinny Wine Estate, Alfriston, BN26 5TU

Book Tickets OnlineOr Call +44 (0)1323 870 022

Seven Sisters Gin  

 
So what do you do with what the French call Rebêche, the third pressing of grapes?

After we’ve taken the first pressing, the Cuvée, which is high in sugars and acids and comes from the pulp of the grapes and the second pressing, or the Taille, which is much richer but can be lower in acidity and sugars, you’re then left with the third pressing (the Rebêche), when you turn up the pressure and squeeze out the juice left in the grapes nearest to the skin and the grape pips.

The Rebêche is much coarser than the Taille and I have to admit that for the last three years I thought Jonathan was saying “that’s the rubbish”!  Anyway, back to the point – what do you do with the Rebêche?

Well this year Rathfinny sent it off to be distilled.  We spoke to a friendly gin distillery near Guildford and they’ve blended our grape spirit with a grain spirit.  We chose nine botanicals and we’ve made what we feel is a great ‘classic’ gin.

We’ve called it ‘Seven Sisters Gin’ after the magnificent chalk cliffs that border the English Channel between Eastbourne and Seaford that mark the beginning of the South Downs. Do get to try it soon. It’s rather special but we’ve only got a few bottles to sell, so be quick! Before long, we hope you’ll be able to enjoy a “Sisters and Tonic” or a “Sisters on Ice” at your local pub, club or restaurant.  Or of course you can buy it directly from the Gun Room and mix it yourself.  Cheers!

Available to buy from the Gun Room from the 7th March.

Read Mark's Article