Two weeks ago I went to Royal Ascot. Having never been before I was intrigued to see this famous English spectacle first hand. I have to say that it has to be the biggest, poshest, piss-up ever organised. Very few people seem to be remotely interested in the horses, the food is at best mediocre but the wine is fantastic and it flows more freely than I’ve ever seen anywhere else in the world!
Last week we agreed the blends for our 2017 wines and we made a little video about the process that you can see here.
Blending is all about tasting the wines that we make in a particular year and working out what will work best with other wines to make the various blends we want to bottle – put it this way there’s a lot of swirling and spitting involved! We are looking to make four blends with our 2017 wines – A Rosé, Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs and a Classic Blend from fifteen different tanks of wine and several barrels of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
In the words of Nina Simone, “It’s a new day, it’s a new dawn, it’s a new life for me, yeah, and I’m feeling good”. I don’t know Nina’s reasons for being so upbeat, but I do know ours. Having officially released our sparkling wines into the market on the 1st June, and with our Hong Kong launch on the horizon, to say we’re excited here at Rathfinny would be an understatement.
This season has got off to a flying start!
The vineyard growth is at least a couple of weeks ahead of what would be considered normal, thanks mainly to well above average temperatures in Spring and in particular May.
Average temperatures for May, as well as April, were well above mean long-term average temperatures for most of the country, even Scotland! This is starting to become a bit of a trend in recent years (long may it continue) and is only positive for grape growing. Also with good rainfall in late winter/early spring the moisture content of the soil has been ideal to get things off to a good start.
I confess I missed a blog a few weeks ago. There was just too much going on and sometimes you have to say I just can’t do that. It was one of those times.
This year has been full on starting with Millie and me going to France to sort out our foils, then finalising the design of our labels, getting them printed, re-doing and up-dating all our assets – everything from signatures, letterheads, the website – organising our trade launch, preparing for the visit by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne to open our new buildings and in all of this, our son Brook got married both in Hackney and here at Rathfinny. As I said, it’s been very busy.
So it was a huge treat to be invited by The Savoy, along with all our staff, to their Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea where our Rathfinny Sussex Sparkling is being served. Here I am with the Gun Room team. I think it’s true to say that we all had to keep pinching ourselves to actually be drinking our wine in this world renowned hotel. It was also an opportunity to say good-bye and thank you to Alison Cowley, who has managed our Gun Room so exceptionally well. We will miss her.