Rathfinny Wine Estate

The Rise of the Influencer


Nowadays, I can’t take a bite of my meal without snapping it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter first. I’m passive-aggressively outraged if a dining companion tucks into their starter while I’m still trying to find my best lighting. The #nofilters photo of my Eggs Florentine at an Insta-friendly cafe, which only took 110 dry-runs to get right, followed by #blessed and the praying-hands emoji…is the depressing reality of where it’s all come to. Bear with me, it gets more cheerful.

Putting together the invitee list for our big Rathfinny launch in London, now set for April 2018 (available to purchase in June), got me thinking. It struck me that if this is to go off with a #bang, we’d need to invite some influencers along. Only thing is, I had no idea what influencers were, where they lived, what they did, was I one? I then realised, neither of my twitter followers had ever retweeted any of my posts, so I couldn’t be. 

Read Rob Buckhaven's Article

26th November, 3rd, 10th and 17th December Christmas Sunday Lunches £45 per person

 

We have just released our dates for our Christmas Lunches at the Flint Barns.

Our team of chefs have created a delicious menu full of locally sourced, seasonal produce. Please contact philippas@rathfinnyestate.com if you would like to book a table.

Christmas Menu 2017

 

Welcome drink of English Sparkling Wine or Mulled Wine

*******

Beetroot and Coconut Soup with Coconut Crisps
Smoked Haddock Cheddar and Chive Fishcakes with Watercress Sauce
Game Terrine with Real Ale Chutney
Smoked Parsnip, Pear and Stilton Salad

*******

Roast Sussex Turkey with all the Trimmings
Slow Braised Steak and Blue Cheese Shortcrust Pie
Roasted Breast of Pheasant Stuffed with Pork and Cranberry and a Sloe Gin Sauce
Pan Fried Fillets of Seabass, Crushed New Potatoes, Baby Spinach & Seaweed Butter
Butternut Squash and Wild Mushroom Risotto

Roast Potatoes & Seasonal Vegetables

*******
Traditional Christmas Pudding with Brandy Butter & Cream
Winter Spiced Plums with Greek Yogurt and Dried Fruits
Rum and Chocolate Tart with Caramelised Nuts & Butterscotch Sauce
Sussex Cheese Plate and Chutney

*******
Tea or Coffee with Handmade Chocolates

Location. Flint Barns, Rathfinny Wine Estate, BN26 5TU

Wednesday 13th December SHOOTING FOR THE STARS £37.50

We have pleasure in once again collaborating with our friend and neighbour Jane Green for what promises to be an evening to remember. The evening will start with a short talk about Rathfinny’s progress and development followed by a guided tasting of Cradle Valley 2016. Our Flint Barns team will then serve a festive 3 course set menu.

Jane, is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and is a natural, eloquent and captivating speaker who possesses that rare ability to communicate the complexities of astronomy in a warm and easy to understand way.  She makes the ‘ungraspable’ graspable so why not join her for a revelatory voyage?

After dinner Jane will give a 50-minute talk, complimented with stunning audio visuals, celebrating astronomical perspective, grandeur and beauty on the most majestic of scales.  With the annual Geminids meteor shower also promising an array of shooting stars, Jane will include these in her journey as she deconstructs the complex, de-mystifies meaningless phrases and uncloaks the darkest wonders of the cosmos to reveal the splendours of wondrous celestial light.

Also capitalising on Rathfinny Estate’s 360° panoramic views and deep dark skies, a stargazing session will follow completing what will be a powerful, insightful and indeed, possibly life-changing journey, one that will begin and end with ‘nothing’ … so what could possibly fill the ‘space’ in between?  Join Jane to discover more.

Jane Green

 

Location. Flint Barns, Rathfinny Wine Estate, Alfriston, East Sussex, BN26 5TU

Book Tickets OnlineOr Call +44 (0)1323 874 030

Gin O’clock

Somewhere in the world it must be time for a gin.  It would appear that the rise in popularity of micro breweries and artisan beers has made way for a wave of gin.

Those from Sussex may have seen our glorious white gin bottles in local stores, bars or hotels.  Named after the iconic Seven Sisters but gin from these parts is not a new phenomenon. The land that folds over the top of the Seven Sisters cliffs between Seaford and Birling Gap is knows as Crowlink.  Genuine Crowlink Gin was the drink in the 1800s in London.  It was illegally imported gin which could be legally sold over the bar.  Many landlords even resorted to placing the word Crowlink on their barrels as pure PR to improve sales, even if it wasn’t the real deal.  The smuggling trade was of huge importance in this part of East Sussex and many of the larger houses that adorn the landscape have been ‘funded’ from the illegal import of alcohol.  Ours is not illegal but we do hope it continues to be the gin to drink!

Read Richard's Article

Taxing issues

Dear Mr Hammond

Is it fair or wise to penalise a British industry that is growing and taking on the world? Would we charge higher taxes on Whisky or Scottish woolens than on Vodka or Chinese jumpers? Would we charge higher VAT on British made luxury cars than lower priced ones?

So why do we charge higher rates of Excise Duty on sparkling wine than still wine in the UK?

It’s a little-known fact that we pay 28% more of Excise Duty per bottle on sparkling wine than on still wine – £2.74 and ‘just’ £2.16 respectively. Plus VAT of 20% …

I say ‘just’ because in the rest of Europe Excise Duty on wine is generally 8-10p per bottle! It’s cheaper to buy most wines, even English

Read Mark's Article

Harvest completed

 

We’ve finished our harvest and it was completely wonderful.  Not only did we have a bumper crop, over twice what was harvested last year, but we had so many other things to celebrate.  As Mark mentioned in a previous blog we had a super team of local pickers come and join us.  Mark was away the first morning of harvest so it fell to me to do a rousing, welcoming speech.  

Read Sarah's Article

Who says Brits won’t pick grapes…?

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.

Read Mark's Article

The Perfect Champagne Glass?

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”. 

Read Rob Buckhaven's Article

Rotary Club Eastbourne

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.

Read Sarah's Article

Harvest Prep

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.

Read Jonathan's Article

Recruiting for Harvest 2017

WANTED

Fit, healthy, hard working pickers needed for our Harvest in October. No experience necessary but a love of the outdoors and willingness to work hard and get the job done essential.

We have a long list of people who have either worked at Rathfinny in the past or they have contacted us over the last year to say that they are keen to help out over harvest, but we are still keen to hear from anyone else.

Read Mark's Article

First ‘Sussex’ wine approved

I’m delighted to announce that our 2016 Cradle Valley Pinot Blanc : Pinot Gris has been passed as a ‘Sussex’ wine under the new PDO scheme now going through the European Commission in Brussels.

The new PDO scheme stipulates that the grapes have to come from Sussex and the wine has to be made in Sussex, so ensuring ‘provenance’. However, more importantly, it means the wine has gone through an

Read Mark's Article

Back on a tractor

What with spraying, trimming, spraying, nets to go on, spraying, oh and some more spraying.
It’s been a busy few weeks on the vineyard, and with a man down having a back operation (Ian- get well soon) it’s been all hands to the pump.

Read Cam's Article