Rathfinny Wine Estate

Intelligent Vineyards

As part of my job I spend a lot of time collecting, analysing and interpreting data from the vineyard with the aim of building a clear representation of the Estate each season and comparatively, year on year. I spoke briefly in my previous blog about the future of data driven decision making especially on a site as big as ours, so after visiting Fruit Focus at NIAB EMR where this was discussed, I thought some more about the importance of technology and how we can use it to improve our practices. Part of this encompasses the evolution of data analytics in the vineyard. Mainly, machine learning, satellite image processing and wireless sensor networks. Together these tools can help make strategic decisions which work to improve efficiency and ultimately, the consumer experience. 

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Floral Update

As we continue to bask in this sunny weather and our vines go from strength to strength the rest of the Estate looks a little parched in places and this means that the wildflowers are out in force (nature moves in mysterious ways).  So for my blog I thought I would provide a few images of some key species and attempt not to mention gin, sparkling wine or still white wine at all!  So here goes.

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October 2018 Join us for Harvest

We’ve had so much interest in joining our picking team this year that we’ve decided to create a dedicated mailing list, separate to the Estate News,  to ensure those who are interested receive all the relevant information.

Joining our Harvest 2018 Mailing List means we will be able to contact you with updates from the Vineyard. Harvest usually takes place in October and when the date is decided you will receive an invite  so you can formally sign up or book a stay at the Flint Barns during the harvest period.  

Please note: All applications will be handled through the mailing list so if you have already been in contact please still sign up as we wouldn’t want you to miss out on any important information. We look forward to hearing from you and hopefully welcoming you to the Estate for Harvest 2018!

To join the Harvest 2018 Mailing List please click here.

 

Location. Rathfinny Wine Estate, Sussex, BN26 5TU

Off to the races…

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!

Read Mark's Article

Blending

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.

Read Mark's Article

Where to find our fizz!

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.  

Read Rob Buckhaven's Article

On the verge of flowering

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.

Read Cam's Article

There’s been a lot going on … and more to come!

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.

Read Sarah's Article

HRH Princess Anne opens our new Wine Processing Centre

HRH Princess Anne arriving by helicopter at Rathfinny to open the new Wine Processing Centre and Cellar

It’s not everyday that royalty drops into Rathfinny, but this week Her Royal Highness Princess Anne came to officially open our new winery buildings: The ‘Cellar’, which will store all our wine whilst it matures in the bottle ‘on-lees’ and the ‘Bottling’ centre that will

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Phenology – What goes around comes around

With the success of our launch at the end of April, the pressure is well and truly on to carry on producing the best grapes for our Sussex Sparkling. As part of the U.K wine industry, we find ourselves at a very fortunate standpoint in comparison to some of our European counterparts in the face of climate change. Even though research points to more unpredictable weather conditions in the U.K, we are also eagerly anticipating higher temperatures and less rain during the growing season (emphasis on eagerly) whilst southern Europe is facing short-term realities of severe drought conditions, extreme heat and ultimately, the inability to grow or produce certain varieties and wine styles. But what is phenology and what does it have to do with this?

Read Frances's Article