We started harvesting our great crop of wonderful ripe grapes on Monday and since then our team of mostly local workers has picked over 80 tonnes of fruit.
I say mostly because we’re very proud to have recruited nearly 100 people from the local area to pick grapes.. something we were told we wouldn’t be able to do. Read this article in The Times, click here. You’d think that the Brits are lazy or that picking fruit is beneath them!
We also have over a dozen people staying in our Flint Barns who have come from further afield: A father and son from Canada and Dubai, and as far away as Aberdeen and Nottingham, Worthing and London.
This isn’t a casual brag, but I went to a wine tasting in London the other day billed as the ‘biggest wine tasting in Europe’. It was given by the premium glass manufacturer, Riedel, by the eleventh-generation CEO himself, Maximilian Riedel.
In my delusional mind it was going to be an intimate affair, with me and a handful of other world-class wine writers. There were in fact hundreds of people in attendance, which made me feel so special. Like me, all had been lured by the title of the event, “A Tasting to find The Perfect Champagne Glass”.
Mark and I had a lovely evening last week, hosted by the Rotary Club in Eastbourne. They invited us to talk about Rathfinny and we did as a ‘double act’. We’ve given a fair few talks now and have settled into Mark talking about the wine and the vineyard, with me talking about our ‘engagement with the public’ side of the business – the Flint Barns, Sunday lunches, tours, Gun Room and events generally. Obviously, as is our want, we interrupt each other as we go along.
We are getting ready for harvest: all winemaking supplies are in and we have started to go through a thorough cleaning of the winery as we do every year.
At the same time, what we used to call the “on-lees storage”, the part of the winery that was dedicated to storing the ageing bottles from previous vintages, has been removed. The temporary walls have been taken down so now the whole ground floor of the winery is again one large open space. We also need to remove the very large AC unit, which used to cool down that space.
This week saw national Cycle to Work day which was an excellent excuse for me to ride my bike (again).